Well, here we are. Election Day eve. To the millions of North Carolinians who have already voted, congratulations and thank you! If you haven’t already voted, I would like to lead you with a few closing thoughts:
This Democracy thing; it’s hard. It’s a system of government that demands a lot of its citizens. We need to research candidates, analyze issues, sift through the rhetoric to find the nuggets of truth, and make decisions, then make sure we are registered to vote and have the time and ability to get to the correct polling place.
And after the election, the work doesn’t stop. We need to be aware of what is happening in our town halls, our board chambers, our state houses, and in the federal government. We need to hold those former candidates to the promises they made. We need to know what our representatives are doing, while also making sure that they know what we want them to do and why it’s important. And before you know it, there’s another election and it’s time to start all over.
Democracy isn’t easy. But when it works well, it’s an amazing thing. Just think: you, yes you, have the ability to change your world. You can have an idea on how your town, or your county, or your school or your state should be run, and you can actually make that happen. You can ask your representatives for help. And if they don’t, you can run for office yourself, or support candidates that will listen to you. You can convince other people to support your idea, and suddenly you have a movement.
If you’ve ever thought that you and your voice don’t matter, please believe that they do. This system of ours doesn’t work perfectly all of the time, and we’ve made some pretty egregious errors in our two and a half centuries as a country. But every day, and with every election, we have a chance to ameliorate the mistakes of the past and to ensure a better future.
So go out there and vote tomorrow. Add your voice to the millions who have already voted, and make a difference. I’ll see you at the polls.