Letter: Your vote matters | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Your vote matters

This is a year in which every vote counts. I am shocked and saddened to hear people say that since they don’t like either candidate, they will either not vote at all or will vote for one of the many other unknown (and unqualified) candidates, or maybe write in a name. To hear that even many of our country’s top politicians and our own local candidates would opt to not even vote for a presidential candidate astounds me.

Our country was founded on freedoms as well as choices, and we have lost hundreds of thousands of lives over the years — sons, brothers, fathers, sisters and mothers — whom have fought hard for those freedoms. Freedom of speech, which — if one candidate has his way — would disappear as the fear of lawsuits is even now affecting what people are willing to say. Freedom of religion is not freedom to discriminate because you disagree with someone’s color, or partner choice, or worship of a god other than yours. Freedom from the fears that many other people in countries such as North Korea, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. experience, and often pay for with their lives. We need to keep our freedoms, not make it harder for people to express what they believe.

Each person in our country has the right to vote, and we are looked up to by the world for our rights and options to speak our voice through our elections. To throw away or not use that privilege is disgraceful. Some people say that they can’t stand either candidate, so they opt to say nothing. Once the election is over and we have a new president of the United States of America, can you say that you at least voted for or against our leader, or will you say “Well, don’t blame me. At least I didn’t vote for him or her”? Our country would have taken a very different path 16 years ago, and we may not have lost thousands of brave men and women fighting another war, had those disgruntled voters who didn’t like either candidate actually stepped into a voting booth and voted for what they considered the lesser of two evils.

Please vote — it makes a difference!

Marilyn Foss