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Need to Promote Meaning of Voting

June 05, 1988

With voter turnout decreasing in recent years, it is clear that greater attention needs to be paid to promoting a national awareness of the importance of voting. What better time to do this than during a presidential election year and as we continue to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

Ours is the lowest turnout rate of any advanced democracy in the world, and no one is quite sure why.

The claim that "my vote doesn't count" is not valid as past elections show that just by a single vote in each precinct, elections have been won or lost. Furthermore, when a citizen decides not to vote, he is really disenfranchising himself from our system of government.

What a sad commentary for those men and women who have fought and died to protect our freedom and rights, including that basic right guaranteed in the Constitution--the right to vote. Moreover, it is on election day that the country truly belongs to the people. For it is in the privacy of the voting booth that citizens can accept or reject the present course of our nation by the people they choose to elect to public office. The strength and vitality of our democracy is determined by all citizens participating in our free political process.

The key to maintaining our freedom and rights is found at the ballot box. The best celebration of the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution can really be demonstrated by Americans exercising that right on election day.

LYNN S. TURNER,

Chair,

Newport Beach Committee on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution

DR

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