Viewpoints

Many Reasons to Get Out and Vote in Elections

1/24/24
By: Lena Gill

Most of us need a reason to get out of the armchair and vote. The best reason is that it is your chance to decide on what future world you want to inhabit. Do you want a world of personal freedoms and rights or do you want the state and ultimately the president to be able to cancel these freedoms and rights?

1. The freedom to vote without standing in line for hours. In Maryland we have the option of requesting a mail-in ballot for all future federal and state elections. If this is your preference, check your incoming mail or go to vote.md.gov/MDvotes24 and fill out the ballot request form soon. If you are not registered to vote in Talbot County contact Talbot.elections@maryland.gov to register. Other Maryland counties each have a Board of Elections registering voters. With a valid Maryland driving license or state ID your signature on one of these documents along with a social security number can become your official on-line voter registration. This form is found at the MVA.

2. The freedom for women to decide over their own health care and reproductive care. Ohio’s voters just amended their state constitution to add the right to reproductive freedom with protections for health and safety of patients and providers. Kansas voters preceded Ohio with a similar change in their constitution. State legislatures in Maryland and New York are planning to codify the right to abortion by putting the issue before the voters in the November 2024 election. Nine other states, including Florida, are in the process of collecting enough signatures to put this issue on the ballot in 2024.

3. The freedom to legally marry whomever you choose or to be whatever gender you choose to be. Right now, these are legal rights but they can be changed, just as the Supreme Court overrode their nearly 50-year old decision in Roe v. Wade that guaranteed the right to an abortion, and left abortion rights to each state to decide.

4. The right to live in a democracy with a constitution and laws that must be followed by all including the president and the Department of Justice. Threatening federal or state officials performing their jobs prevents a democracy from functioning and should be a federal crime.

5. The right to bear arms but only with obligatory background checks and training, resulting in a license similar to a driver’s license. All states should pass a red flag law to keep arms away from mentally disturbed people. And, most importantly, all states (or the federal government) must renew the assault weapons ban. Those weapons were made to use in wars, not on our streets and in our schools. Bullets from assault weapons can damage a body to the point where the body is unrecognizable. Especially a child’s body! Firearms have been the leading cause of death of children and young adults in the US since 2020. There is no reason to accept this carnage.

Which federal and state candidates are you planning to vote for who would protect these freedoms and rights? It is up to you to inform yourself about the candidates. You can find out most of what you need to know on-line.

The forms for your option to vote by mail have already been sent out. It could not be easier than that to vote.

Lena Gill lives in Easton and is a member of the Talbot County Democratic Forum

 

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