Jo Cooper - 2006
Letter to the Editor
By Jo Cooper
October 2006

  Many peoople today wonder if its worth the trouble to vote. I believe it's not only our privilege, it's our duty to vote.

In 1950, you had to be 21 years old to vote. November 7th was my first chance to vote in a congressional election. Unfortunately, at 4 am, my baby decided it was her day to be born. During my long labor, I remember my pain was two-fold, giving birth to a 9lb, 6oz girl and that I couldn't get to the polls to vote. They had absentee ballots then, but just for service men. This November many of us will vote that way.

I asked my hardworking Sparkletts man if he was going to vote. He said, "Probably not." Then I started my lecture. We must do something to stop the present government. As the experts say, what we're doing in Iraq has become the recruiting subject for Al Queda. Then I told him it's important we vote and elect a congress which will make some changes. He agreed that he was unhappy with how things were now, but hadn't time to read enough to know how to vote. Many people are too busy just making enough to get by these days. They don't have time to think about voting.

We are bombarded with commecial ads for all the politicians. It isn't easy to sort them out. It helps to read who is paying for the ads. If you are interested in slowing global warming, (our 100 degree days), watch for "sponsored by The Sierra Club" or something similar. If you are unhappy with gas prices and the cost of living, watch out for those sponsored by large companies.

In 1966, I voted for Ronald Reagan when he ran for Governor the first time. I believed his pre-election speech when he said he'd cut state taxes. My husband's monthly deduction for state taxes was $50. The month after Reagan took office, my husband's pay stub showed $100 a month for state tax. When I screamed it had been doubled, my husband said, "you should have voted Democratic!" I thought that was terrible. We'd only been married three years, but I knew I'd vote for whomever I thought best. Oddly, I took his advice and have voted mostly Democratic ever since.

I've voted in every election for five decades. They didn't always turn out the way I voted, but as long as I voted, I feel I have the right to bitch at the people in power who are supposed to be working for us.

Some people believe all politicians are greedy and crooked, so it doesn't make any difference. All of us may find the ballots hard to understand, but remember that old quote, "THE ONLY THING IT TAKES FOR EVIL TO TRIUMPH, IS FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO DO NOTHING." Do something, vote!

Jo Cooper


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