My take on voting. Do it!

Really? Is that the point we’ve come to in this democracy? Trying to tell others not to vote for anyone in an entire party?

If I ever try to do that to you, please stop me. It is not our job as citizens to tell others how to, and not to, use their own secret ballot. In my several trips to the Russian Federation, and an extended professional assignment there several years ago, I became vividly aware of our rights in this country to freedom of speech and a confidential ballot. I met people in this fledgling and struggling democracy for whom these rights were still fragile and uncertain. While I have been registered to vote in six different states in this country, as a Democrat, then an independent, and now again as a Democrat, I have exercised my right to vote as a personal obligation and individual choice.

Here’s my take on voting: Do it! But first, do your research. Be a responsible voter. Determine for yourself what you see as the key issues and concerns for you, your community, your country. There are always lots of shiny objects bounced around in politics. Focus. Get clear on what you want to know more about and then seek reputable and varied sources to help you learn. Then as the election gets closer and we know who the actual candidates are, measure those candidates against the issues and concerns you’ve identified, the information you’ve learned.

My hope is that you find honest, informed, experienced and compassionate candidates with integrity, to support. Yes, we have several of those in the Democratic Party, at the local, state and national levels.

Lynnette Brouwer, Gila County Democratic Party chair

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