During the Tooele County Fair, while sitting at the county booth, I noticed a gentleman walk by. I asked him if he was registered to vote. He said no. When I asked if he would like to register, he said no. I asked how he could not want to vote, especially this year when we are electing the president of our country.
He said, “It doesn’t make any difference.”
Later that week, I was at the nail salon when one of the nail techs asked the owner if she could take her voter registration to the Clerk’s Office because the nail tech had just become a citizen of the United States. Of course, I butted in and told her I’d be happy to take it for her. A conversation ensued about how excited she was to become a citizen, and how involved she wanted to be in her new country. She told me what a privilege it was to live here and she wanted to become a citizen so she could be a part of keeping it a wonderful country.
What a contrast.
What I would say to the first gentlemen is: You are so wrong. In a presentation that we take to the schools, we tell the kids about the history of voting and try to explain why we vote and why voting is so important. We tell them how important one vote is:
• In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German
• In 1845, one vote made Texas our 28th state
• In 1923, one vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party
So does one vote make a difference?
You bet it does.
Why is it that the new citizen is so excited to be a part of our great country and the person who was born and raised here isn’t? Do we take the privileges and freedoms we have for granted? It certainly gave me something to think about. I hope it does you too.
If you are not registered to vote, please go to www. co.tooele.ut.us/clerk.htm and click on the big “vote” button in the right-hand corner. The deadline to mail your voter registration forms into the Clerk’s Office is Oct. 9. You may register online, if your voter registration information matches the information on your drivers license, or in person in the Clerk’s Office until Oct. 22 at 5 p.m.
Marilyn Gillette is the Tooele County clerk.