When my friend Gyano first came here from Australia years ago, somehow an election came up in conversation, and we had one of those weird discussions where we weren’t understanding one another at all. Puzzled, she finally turned to me and said, “But isn’t voting compulsory?” In Australia you receive a stiff fine if you don’t vote…she couldn’t believe that people here actually didn’t vote. Now that she’s been here a while, she probably sitll can’t believe it, but more clearly sees the apathy and cynicism that pervade, keeping people from the ballot box. Since we’re not required to vote and have to do so from the force of our own conviction, we need to stay in touch with how important it is to participate. Whomever you may vote for, please vote!

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