| CHRIS BIGGS
Secretary of State
STATE OF KANSAS
|Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
For Immediate Release
Monday, July 26th, 2010
Abbie Hodgson, Director of Public Affairs
Office of the Secretary of State
The following is a column by Secretary of State Chris Biggs:
VOTING: NOT JUST A RIGHT, BUT YOUR DUTY
As the Chief Election Officer for the State of Kansas, I take elections very seriously. That’s why I’m concerned that less than 20 percent of registered voters generally turn out to vote in primary elections.
I know that many people feel that voting is unimportant and that their vote doesn’t make a difference, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Each year there are a handful of races in Kansas that are decided by just a few votes. But even in those races that there is a clear winner, by voting you have helped to shape the future of your community, the State of Kansas, and our country.
I like to remind people that not everyone has always had the right to vote. African American men did not earn the right to vote until 1870; women did not gain suffrage until 1918; and it wasn’t until 1971 that the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. We are privileged to live in a nation where we have open and free elections, and as such, voting is not just your right, it is your duty.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was right when he said: “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” I urge you to exercise your right to vote in the Primary Election on Tuesday, August 3rd.