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Historical Articles

October, 1952 issue of Plating

 

“E” Day

ACCORDING TO STATISTICS, only approximately 51 per cent of those eligible to vote exercised their constitutional right of sufrage in the 1948 Presidential election. This record, when compared with that of the 1900 election when about 73 per cent of the eligibles voted, is undeniably disturbing. A glance at the voting records in recent English and Canadian balloting show6, respectively, an 83 per cent and 75 per cent participation by the citizens of those countries.

To be sure, there are some thousands in the United States who are prevented from voting by the peculiarities of the numerous local, county and state voting district eligibility requirements. The poll tax is a well-known restrictive measure, and there are others tbat are not as well publicized. Similarly, there are those, away on busine66, some of it motivated by reasons of highest patriotism, who are not able to vote on election day.

These conditions affect only a part of the electorate. The others who abstain, numbering in the millions, are those whose motives are perplexing. It is difficult to believe that almost half of the adult population of a nation, with about the lowest percentage of illiteracy, was so disinterested in the running of its government that it failed to express an opinion for or against the parties in power at the various governmental levels. The creeping paralysi6 of voter apathy expressed by the persistently downward plunge of the number voting in the past several elections is alarming. Inasmuch as good government stems only from an alert, active and discriminating citizenry, continued ballot inactivity can be disastrous.

However, signs of an alerted populace are evident in the numerous registration and get-out-the-vote drives being made. While these efforts should be intensified and maintained constantly through “E” Day, it is only through the fulfillment of our privileged duty that such labors will be rewarded. A substantially increased total vote on November 4 will be gratifying. The important thing to do on that date is to vote, and as an extra measure of great citizenship, see that yo~ir neighbor does, too! Whether he votes for the nominees of the party of Lincoln or those of the party of Jefferson, and quite probably in disagreement with your own choices, is not as significant a6 the fact that you both vote.

Al Korbelak



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