Orlando, September 14 – You have a voice. Use it during the upcoming 2016 General Election.
I had a conversation with a couple of people and I asked if they had voted during the recent Primary Election. One did not respond. The other said no because he didn’t like any of the options (people who were running). I quickly responded: This is not just for president; it’s for local and state races too and changes to the state constitution. If you don’t vote, you are allowing other people to speak for you, I said.
That conversation took place during early voting so I’m not sure if either of them actually voted but I am inclined now to remind every one I know to get prepared to vote and when the time comes, please do vote!
Let your voice be heard!
With voter turnout in Orange County under 20 percent, we all have got to not only commit to voting ourselves, we have to reach out to our neighbors – coworkers, church family members and ask them if they are registered and if they plan to vote. We owe it to the people who years ago fought for us to have the right to vote.
The General Election is on November 8 but if you are not registered in the county that you live in or claim as your permanent residence, you can not vote.
On October 4, the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office will begin mailing out vote-by-mail ballots (absentee ballots) and the last day to register to vote is October 11 for the election.
Voters (We) will help select the next President of the United States as well as fill open Congressional seats, Legislative seats and County-wide seats such as Orange County Sheriff, Judges, Clerk of Court, etc.
Early voting will start on October 24.
I’ve got to say this: Who you vote for in the Presidential race is your business but there are stark differences between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Real Estate mogul Donald Trump. You can research the two, right on the internet. Goggle them!
You may not agree with everything the party does so go with the candidate who you feel most align to your values and your future desires for the country.
Let’s not let the day after Election Day catch us by surprise – in any way.
As people of color, we can’t afford not to vote folk in/out of office, better organize ourselves and hold our elected officials accountable (on a larger scale). Our agenda needs to be at the table and we want to see major changes especially in the country’s justice system.
Also, if you’re going to debate about any of the races, do not resort to name calling. God never called us to tear each other down but build each other up. Period. (I had to take it there because it has gotten out of control – on every level.)
Your emotions will cloud your vision every time. You will end up doing and saying things you will regret later. So try to stick to the facts!
Above all, pray for God’s will for the upcoming election…that people are running for office for the right reasons: That people would exercise their right to vote and research the candidates and vote wisely.
Sidenote: You don’t always have to stick with your party on every race!
(Source of information for this article – 2016 Election Calendar, Orange County Supervisor of Elections website: http://www.ocfelections.com)
-Trish Martin, Publisher & Editor Orlando Community News 2016