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Now That You Have the Right... Will You Vote?

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By Hardy Brown

General Election Day is Tuesday November 5, 2002 throughout the country. What if you went to your regular voting place and the workers said your voting place has been changed to another location across town?

What if you were given a bar of soap and asked to tell the worker how many bubbles were in the bar of soap before you could cast your ballot? What if you went to vote and you are told you did not pay your poll tax? What if you went to vote and the worker asked you to recite the Constitution of the United States? What if you went to work and your boss called you into the office and told you if you go and vote you would lose your job? What if you were a sharecropper and your land owner met you in the field and told you if you vote you will have to move off his farm? What if you go to vote and you are greeted by police officers with guns? Some of these things seem far fetched yet have and are still happening in our society to keep African Americans from voting in America. They still have not gotten it right in Florida on how to vote and the counties most impacted are where Blacks live and vote.

I cite these examples so you can understand the reason and neccesity for you to vote on November 5th and every other election. Some of us do not believe in the right to vote while others forget or say neither candidate strikes my fancy. That is no excuse for you to not vote. You must still cast your vote so that elected officials know that you are watching them and what they do.

Medgar Evers of Mississippi was killed in his driveway because he fought for the right to vote for himself and others in Mississippi. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed over his efforts to help people register, vote, and become involved in the political process. Some people were arrested in Florida during the last presidential election for going to the polls trying to vote. Then were stopped for minor traffic violations and taken to jail if warrants were out for past traffic violations. Their votes were discounted if there was a chad hanging on the ballot. This was done and George W. Bush was selected President of our United States. So what are you going to do on Tuesday November 5, 2002?

There are many candidates, propositions, and local measures for you to vote for on Tuesday November 5, 2002, that will put or take money from your pocket. If nothing else, that should be enough for you to go out and vote. If you do not want to vote for yourself go and vote for Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers, the Black children that can’t vote, your deceased mother and father, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young and everyone else who died before they truly had the right. Now that you have the right... Will you vote?

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