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Voting Matters

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Nov. 2, 2010, was a date that went down in the annals of history. It was the day the United States turned back the clock to some of its darkest days, from a policy and cultural standpoint. The Tea Party movement has been piping hot since the spring of 2009. In the minds of moderates and many on the progressive left, the election of President Obama has been the reason that the members of the Tea Party faction within the Republican Party have been boiling over with rage and dissatisfaction with where the country is today.

The Tea Party Republicans have delivered candidates to halls of Congress such as Rep. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), Rep. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) among countless others who have chosen to align themselves with the most extreme political movement in this country. The sole reason that these people were successful in their bids for various seats in the Senate and House of Representatives was the failure of many American citizens to exercise their full right to vote.

Why does voting matter?

The 2008 presidential election brought to the polls the highest number of Americans since 1968. After the eight years of President George W. Bush, the populace was looking for overwhelming change, and that became the platform then-senator Barack Obama ran on. His oratorical gift was on full display, and many Americans became enraptured in the spirit of his messages.

Sen. John McCain won the Republican primary, and he knew he would have to make a big splash when he chose his vice-presidential candidate if he wanted any chance of beating Obama. He made a critical error in judgment when he chose then-little-known Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Fortunately, the voters' voices resonated loud and clear when Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States, but a troubling trend has reigned supreme since that electoral victory for the country. Many citizens have sat on their proverbial derrières, living in apathy while there is more work to do in resuscitating the heartbeat of the American economy. Numerous citizens forgot the importance of voting in every election. Local, state, and primary elections are just as important as presidential elections. The lack of citizens showing up and making their votes count has left our country in a very vulnerable, perilous position.

There has been a plethora of vulgar and repulsive examples of the Tea Party Republican beliefs that would essentially take the United States back to the days of Reconstruction and Jim Crow. The latest example is the controversial voter-ID laws, which are the modern-day equivalent of poll taxes. This is what can happen when people don't understand the importance of voting.

What to do before Nov. 6?

There may be 90 million registered voters who are not going to vote this year. We must change that disturbing fact immediately. According to a recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll, their votes would be cast for President Obama at a 2-to-1 ratio over Gov. Mitt Romney (43 percent vs. 18 percent). These troubling statistics makes it imperative that each citizen exercise his or her right to vote on Nov. 6. It is time to go out into your respective communities to engage your neighbors and make sure they're properly registered to vote in this election. There has never been such a wretched assault on a right granted to citizens of the United States by the Constitution. Learn how to get registered to vote and see the list for valid forms of identification for voting by each state.

The issue of Americans not voting in all elections has long been a problem in this country. Perhaps it's one of the reasons that we find ourselves with incomparable debt and severe malfunctions in our electoral, educational, employment, and judicial systems. Nov. 6 is a day when all Americans who truly care about the future of our country can take a stand against these heinous characters posing as governmental officials and vote for the Senate and House candidates who want to progress the United States to greater days and not regress us to days of falling victim to our own greed.

These Tea Party folks need to be given a pink slip, and this can only happen if the people who truly love the United States get out and vote in record numbers, akin to the 2008 presidential election. For too long we've taken for granted our right to vote when our ancestors fought so valiantly for this very right.

Over the past three years Tea Party Republican slogans have followed an "I want my country back" theme, and that's nothing more than scurrilous code language. There is no coincidence that all the Tea Party candidates have run under the Republican Party affiliation. Not to sound like a broken record, but the importance of voting is paramount in this 2012 election cycle, because if Americans choose not to fight these vicious voter-ID laws or stay at home once again, the future of the United States will be bleak, and history that we want no part of will be made.

In the words of former president James A. Garfield, "Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption."

Remember to make your vote count on Nov. 6.

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
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Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
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