Why We Should Vote and Not Be Afraid of Political Retaliations


Dr. John E. Warren

The June 3rd Primary Election in the State of California will provide an opportunity for massive voter turnout because of the number of national, statewide, county and municipal candidates on the ballots. In the case of the Democratic Party, it is expected that because the Governor, Members of Congress, the Assembly and a number of other incumbents wear that Party label, many voters will simply go down their ballot and mark all democrats or republicans without any real knowledge of the candidates. For this reason, some feel that the local races, though non partisan, will see some people swept back into office based upon label and not performance.

This thinking also causes a number of people to think that their “vote will not make a difference” or that someone might find out that that they voted for a person other than the one in office and therefore fear repercussions. None of this thinking should keep anyone from exercising their constitutional right to vote. When you fail to vote because you think that the other person has already won, you validate their victory and surrender your right to vote which so many people suffered and died to guarantee for you. Democracy only works and has meaning when all the people exercise their right of participation. Your vote should be dependent upon what you want to see the person in office do and not how they dress or what speeches they make. Your vote should not be a matter of a popularity contest or how your friends vote or think. It’s about you and your personal right. So exercise that right on June 3rd, if you have not already done so via absentee ballots.

Next, do not fear the people who hold office. They neither have a right to threaten you for not voting for them and you have a right to representation by them once in office even if you did not vote for them. Any statement by a person in office that they will not represent you because you didn’t support them is grounds for filing a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office for Malfeasant In Office. Elected officials do not get to pick and choose who they will serve once elected to office. The obligation goes with the office.

So if you have not voted, then do so on June 3rd. If you have questions about the people running for office, then come out to our Town Hall Meeting on May 29th from 6 to 8:00 pm at the Jacobs Center. Remember, how we vote will leave an indicator for the next 2 to 4 years as to whether those in office have to be concerned about our vote the next time around, regardless as to whether our candidate won.