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Election Post-Mortems

June 11, 1986

I felt compelled to write when I read (Times, June 6) of the incredibly poor voter turnout in the primary election. It is incomprehensible to me how so many of my fellow citizens seem to consider this vital democratic function so unnecessary.

This is especially distressing when in recent months we have seen heralded in the media the dramatic events involving the elections in the Philippines. Day after day we saw and heard of thousands of people, average citizens of a country just like ours, putting their very lives on the line to protect their right to hold and participate in democratic elections. One particular news photo depicting a dozen or so people who had spent several days surrounding a ballot box will always remain etched in my mind.

And almost half of the registered voters in this state could not be bothered to spend 15 minutes exercising this right that so many have died for.

I believe that the freedoms we take for granted in a democratic society carry with them certain responsibilities. One of these is the responsibility to become knowledgeable about our prospective leaders and the issues and proposals that will affect us and to then make our individual voices heard.

To not do so is an affront to those in our country who fight to make this democracy work; to those who have given their lives to preserve our way of life; and to those around the world who will go to their graves praying that they had the democratic rights that many of us cannot be bothered to use.

TIM ARNOLD

Hollywood

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