A few years ago, while visiting a city of about 6,000 people on the mainland of Honduras, I noticed many people hiking down from the villages located high up in the mountains. A steady stream of people were entering the city, tired and dirty from walking down trails that are little more than a cow path.
While 6,000 people live in the city, more than 23,000 live in the surrounding mountainous rural villages. The rural areas are extremely impoverished, many of their dwellings being less substantial than what many of us take tent camping. These folks don’t have much, they struggle in a way most of us will never know.
So why were these people hiking down from the mountains to the city? TO VOTE.
I asked our friends who were hosting us in Honduras if this was an important election. The people were taking day-long hikes down out of the rugged mountains to sleep outdoors overnight in the city’s center square so they could vote first thing the next morning. Then they would make the day-long hike back home. Our friends were quick to say, “All elections are important here, however in the U.S. this is what you would refer to as a primary.”
A primary election. These people take their relatively new right to vote seriously. They spent an entire day hiking down the mountains, slept outside on concrete, a park bench if they were lucky. They would wait in a long line to vote and then make the arduous hike back home. For a primary election.
I’m going to venture a guess that, if you are reading this, it won’t take you a day-long hike down a mountain to reach your polling place. You won’t have to sleep outdoors in the elements nor hike eight hours to get home once you have cast your vote. Please, go vote today. Your voice counts.
robert ballard says
Shamefully I hardly ever vote.
Maybe my reluctance to miss a single election, no matter how minor, balances things out. 😉 My generation (and the generation behind me, now old enough to vote) are pretty inactive voters. I hope to see that change.