My Right to Not Vote

Posted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I've heard many outcries to the 27-percent showing for the latest election. The most common and passionate objection is soldiers past and present laid down their lives for our right to vote, so how dare we disrespect them by not showing up at the polls?

However, did they not also lay down their lives for our right to not vote? My understanding of a right is it gives us the option. I have a right to bear arms, speak freely and assemble, but I'm not therefore obligated to own a gun, open my mouth or organize a protest. Our children pledge allegiance every morning to a flag that represents liberty for all, not forced voting for all. Freedom goes both ways.

On Aug. 31, Chad Morse wrote a letter to the editor quoting a Kenyan proverb: "Bad leaders are elected by poor citizens who do not vote." However, bad leaders can also be elected by those who do vote. Personally, this year I exercised my right not to vote. Why? I could not in good conscience vote for either of the main candidates. I believe fully endorsing a candidate you don't believe in is even more detrimental than not voting at all.

So don't shame people about disrespecting soldiers because they don't jump on a bandwagon in a two-party system. Those soldiers died for our right and freedom to vote or not.

Justin Franchino, Kenai

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