Register To Vote
By MICHAEL SCHENKLER
Clear, simple, short sweet: You gotta be in it to win it!
No, itís not the NYS Lottery. Itís the most significant exercise of participatory democracy in the world.
It is a right, a privilege; itís as American as you can get.
As I sit at home on the third anniversary of Sept. 11 and reflect on the emotions of our changing country over the past three years, I remain stunned by the poor participation in our most precious freedom.
Those feelings that have driven our nation to war, our brothers and sisters to tears, and all of us to the recognition that there is a difference between our way and theirs.
And each of us, in our own small way, has changed as Americans Ė some ever so slightly, while others have changed their lifeís direction to deal with the new world.
Although Sept. 11 and the days that follow are perhaps a time of deep emotion and reflection, my message is simple and basic.
Itís easy to be a part of this great democracy. If you are a citizen, register and vote. For those of you who are not citizens, this country has been built by millions of people who came here, became citizens and then registered and voted. I hear that there is some guy who recently became a governor who only came to our shores a little more than two decades ago.
The right to vote extends to all elections, at every level of government. Although the numbers tell us that your vote can matter more on a local level, registration historically is much higher in Presidential Election years. And if you havenít been paying attention, on Nov. 2, America will be going to the polls to choose the next President of the United States.
Now, as my regular readers know, of course Iím partisan. But that is not why I write this. Above all, I believe in democracy with a little ďdĒ Ė not the political party.
Democracy: Government by the people, commonly exercised through elected representatives.
Elect: To select by vote.
If you have any questions, the Queens Board of Elections can be reached at (718) 730-6730.
Get the form in the mail before the end of September and vote Nov. 2.
See you at the polls.