Exercising Our Voices

Anthony Harris

Opinions Section Editor

anthonydeanharris@gmail.com

If you were among the 311 people that voted in Archer last Tuesday, I applaud you. If you were among the few others that voted in Clark Atlanta’s gym, I bestow upon you the same honors. If you voted absentee, pat yourself on the back. If you’re part of the vast majority of people in the Atlanta University Center that did not vote in the midterm elections, you may need to turn in your Black Card.

Our ancestors have been fighting for years for freedom. We have struggled to escape disenfranchisement. We have motivated black people for years to become activists. There are many routes to equality in America, and voting is one of them. In the face of adversity, it is still a strong sign of strength to have a group come together in a system against them and use their voice. Whether or not those votes are counted, the symbolism of the act is necessary.

The machines in Archer worked. The workers were hospitable to all those who participated. Provisional ballots were provided to those who were not registered (over 30 people, all Morehouse students, voted provisionally on Tuesday). Believing that your vote would not be counted on Tuesday would not have been the case on Tuesday where the county was expected to lean Democrat anyway. Irregularities have not been reported for Fulton County.

Too often last week did I hear people not vote out of laziness, “lack of time,” or being uninformed of the candidates. We must combat this problem. Voter apathy is prevalent with young people, Black people, and males. This means the campus of Morehouse College is trapped in a trifecta that only serves to show to the nation that we have given up our fifteenth amendment rights.

Our apathy to voting does not serve us. Any belief that the act of voting does no good to us is even more harmful than actually voting. With voting, we at least have a chance of having a voice in an oppressive nation. Voting is giving up our chance at choosing government outright. It’s not something to be taken lightly, nor easily given away.

The fact of the matter is that there was clearly no excuse for any student in the AUC to not vote. Our history is too deep. Information on all the candidates were all over the internet and newspapers. The hype of the Democrats taking the House and Senate was simply too big. To have a voting bloc of at least 1,000 AUC students would have been a clear sign to America that black college students are interested in the nation again.

We must be able to prove to America that we are socially aware. We need to prove to America that we are willing to follow our civic duties and aren’t going to give up voting at the slightest sign of opposition. With a Republican party that is willing to mislead and misinform, we must be proud enough to stand in their faces in Ohio and Florida, and the first steps of those actions have to be in Georgia.

We need to exercise our right to vote just as we exercise our rhetoric to change this nation, for what are words without actions?

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