Op-ed: Engage, participate, vote

Election Day – November 6, 2018, Time Again to Engage, Participate and Vote

Written by: Kammi Foote & Chuck Levin

In 1999 Doris “Granny D” Haddock, started walking from California to Washington D.C. to urge people to become involved in our democracy and she encouraged people across the country to participate and vote. She was admired by a bi-partisan group of reformers on Capitol Hill, led by Senator John McCain, who bought her several pairs of jogging shoes, inspired by the courage and passion of her transcontinental walk.

File photo/First-time voter, Amelia Tracy, of Orange County CA registers to vote with Kammi Foote and Chuck Levin at the Kearsarge Pass trailhead at the end of a 10-hour day hike.

Granny D was 89 years old, she walked ten miles a day, she trekked for 14 months, spoke to thousands of people about our country and our future, and her single important message was that democracy is not only something that we enjoy, it is something that we must do. In her home state of New Hampshire, there were tributes at the Capitol Rotunda in recognition of her mission and dedication to her historic walk. Today in California we have a similar message and it speaks of the democratic principles of our Constitutional Republic – our freedom from tyranny, our fundamental liberty, our pursuit of happiness and prosperity and specifically the responsibility of voters to participate and vote.

Voters decide on who will be elected to represent us, at every level of government – which means voters have the power. Not monarchs. Not since 1776. We decide. However, if voters sit it out, stay home, wring their hands, become cynical or reject their right, privilege and responsibility, then it is unrealistic to expect that things will get better. On policy, politics and elections it’s the voters who choose the representatives who set the direction of our City, County, State and Nation.

To borrow a cliché’ “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”. When voters stay home, entrenched, selfish interests take over.

Pollsters, TV pundits, billionaires and Fortune Tellers do not decide election outcomes. Elections are decided by voters and apathy today means things are likely to get worse tomorrow – without question. Your vote is the one that counts, there are many close elections, and there are clear choices that distinguish candidates.

This right to vote – the privilege to vote – our responsibility to vote – is the foundation of our system and our country since the American Revolution. During that last 242 years, we have struggled to expand voting rights to all eligible citizens. While the past has not always been perfect, our country has endeavored to live up to the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. The USA has been an example to the world. When we live up to our responsibility as citizens we ensure a healthier, prosperous, safer, more beautiful community and across our country our democracy is preserved and strengthened.  

Register to vote and vote in every election.

For more information about voting in the November 6, 2018 election, please visit the Inyo County Elections website at https://elections.inyocounty.us   


Kammi Foote is the Inyo County Registrar of Voters and Chuck Levin is a resident of Los Angeles celebrating 50 years as a volunteer Registrar of Voters in Los Angeles County. In 2016, Kammi Foote appointed Mr. Levin as her first ever official Inyo County Volunteer Deputy Registrar.

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