On the Mayor's Mind: Our country depends on us to vote

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Roberts family votes

By Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts

On Friday, my family went to the Shoreline Library to drop off our ballots (where we cast our ballots without a stamp). While we were there, we saw about a dozen people casting their ballot in this year’s election.

In my role as a parent, I am teaching my son the importance of civics - the importance of voting (and the structures and limitations of our government) - and this year he was very excited to help us cast our ballot. I hope that when he turns 18, he will vote in every election - up and down the ballot.

I am a believer in our democracy. The collective voice of the people not only elect candidates to serve as our representatives; we also shape the possibilities of public policy at the national, state, and local level. It is my wish that in every election, every eligible voter participates, even if my preference ends up on the losing side.

The people who run for public office are good people who want to do what is right for their community. I respect everyone (and their families) who runs for public office. We should demand that our representatives engage in civil (and spirited) discourse about the merits of policy proposals, as opposed to the discourse we often see in negative TV ads.

Our democracy depends on us to participate. Our country depends on us to vote.

Compared to most states, it is easy to vote in Washington. Our ballots are mailed to us nearly three weeks prior to the election, we receive (in most elections) a voter’s pamphlet where each candidate (or proponent or opponent of an initiative) has an opportunity to say why they are the best person to represent us, and there are convenient drop boxes to return our ballot. In other states, voters may wait in line for hours to vote, and vote on electronic machines that do not provide a paper trail to ensure the accuracy of an election (or the ability to recount all votes in the case of a close election). With confidence, we can trust in the integrity and outcome of our elections.

On my mind today is a wish that every eligible voter casts their ballot this election. The drop boxes across the county close at 8:00pm on Tuesday, November 8. I’d like every Shoreline voter to make sure their voice is heard.


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