Sara Sousa: Votes do count

June 12, 2014 

Last week, I saw a photograph in Time magazine with the caption, “Beating down the vote.” The picture showed a group of men in Bangladesh, one on the ground while several others stood around him beating him with sticks. The man on the ground was described as “a Bangladeshi resident wanting to vote.” A powerful image of what so many people in the world go through to cast a ballot. Like the United States, Bangladesh is considered a democracy.

Recently, news was filled with the Virginia primary election in which Eric Cantor lost to David Brat (“ Tea party stuns GOP’s Cantor,” June 11 news article). Voter turnout in the Virginia primary was reported at 12 percent. Just 65,022 people created a ripple in the political direction for our nation while several hundred thousand people remained silent.

Many North Carolinians argue that recent state election laws are an attack on voter rights. During the most recent N.C. primary, less than 16 percent of registered voters participated.

While many N.C. residents face legitimate barriers to voter participation, unlike the man in Bangladesh we do not need to fear being physically attacked on our way to the polls. What ripple will we create by our decision to cast a ballot or not?

Sara Sousa

Durham

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