When our Founding Fathers created our constitution, only white, male landowners were bestowed with the privilege. And for many years, this remained the status quo.
Slowly, and under great duress, women, Native Americans, Asians and African Americans fought for and won these rights. People died for this privilege. Our forbearers knew that there was power in the ability to cast your vote for someone we elect to speak on our behalf.
And yet, less than a century after the majority of Americans earned the right to vote; many don’t exercise it. In a state like Washington, with our motor voter law; people can register when getting a driver’s license, submitting for public benefits, or filling out an online form. And still, despite the relative ease of getting registered, just under 61 percent of Washingtonians who were eligible to vote actually cast a ballot during the last Presidential primary. And even worse, in local elections under 40 percent of those eligible to vote actually took the time.
If you think that voting doesn’t matter, that your vote doesn’t count; consider this.
In 2004, here in Washington State Former Attorney General Christine Gregoire ran for Governor against Sammamish businessman, Dino Rossi. When the votes were counted on Election Day, Dino Rossi was declared Governor-elect by 261 votes. However, because the race was so close, the votes needed to be hand counted. Ultimately, after several recounts, Gregoire won by only 129 votes…out of 2.88 million votes cast.