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The Right and Responsibility that comes with your VOTE!

According to the U.S. Constitution, voting is a right and a privilege for qualifying citizens of the United States of America. Neither the right nor the responsibility however make it a requirement to do so.

It’s interesting to note then that only 56% of the U.S. voting-age population cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election.  The Census Bureau estimated that there were 245.5 million Americans ages 18 and older eligible to vote in November 2016, but only 137.5 million voted.  The 55.7% (56%) VAP turnout in 2016 puts the U.S. behind most of its peers in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), most of whose members are highly developed, democratic states.  Looking at the most recent nationwide election in each OECD nation, the U.S. placed 26th out of 32.  That’s a dismal ranking when you think about what your Vote can really mean.  If this analysis of mine is clouding my point, here it is in plain English:  MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE DON’T, AND OTHERS WHO ARE LIKEWISE ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER TO VOTE, HAVEN’T DONE SO.

Part of having a great democracy is one where differences of opinion, views and values can co-exist, but allowing for and respecting the views of others.  There is however a difference between points of views and preferences, and FACTS.  We all love our candidates or may be swayed by the stories we read or hear about in various outlets.  But as I often like to remind people, just because you heard it on TV or saw it on social media does not mean it is true! 

As a company, we are impacted by the actions of our government representatives, good and bad.  That starts locally and goes all the way to the President.  As individuals, our families are also impacted by the same decisions.  As a community and a country, it even gets broader.  So many of the decisions of who or what you will vote for will have a profound impact on all our lives, the lives of our children, great grandchildren and so on.  So perhaps we owe it to them to make sure that we inform ourselves as best possible, and truly understand what sometimes complex issues are for any one of us.

When we buy a house, or a car, or an appliance, most of us now look for reviews, specs, consumer reports, market reports and decide based on the data we have read and analyzed.  We wouldn’t just say “I’m going to go buy a Ford because my friend has one and he says it looks really cool”.  Or “I’m buying a Ford because my entire family only drives Fords”.  While you can most certainly do that, it might not satisfy what you really were looking for and/or needed, you simply made a choice that was easy or popular.  Not on facts.

So, for those of us who will vote in this coming November election, (and I hope it’s all of us who are eligible) I’d like to encourage you to look for untainted FACTS.  TV ads are not facts.  Twitter posts are not facts.  There are various worldwide organizations that have websites and databases where you can look up something and read the simple facts, without an opinion attached to it.

One of these organizations is www.Factcheck.org and here is their mission:

We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.  We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.  Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.

FactCheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.

We are just two months out of election day in the USA.  Some of you might have already taken steps to prepare for voting, either by mail, or in person, or recently registering to vote.  If you have not done so, PLEASE DO IT NOW!  Have a plan to vote, and how you will do it.  DO it early and make sure that you read everything that comes with how you deliver your vote.  If you do not know or are unsure, there are many resources that can provide you information.  One of them is the department of elections in your county. 

This election is very important.  We are in the midst of so much right now, that sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option; inaction is a negative action and regardless of who you vote for, you are dignifying that right and privilege that so many wish they had.  We must unify as a country; everything we do depends on it.  Be part of the reaching cross the aisle to listen to your neighbor who might have a different opinion; you can listen and try to understand, and they can do the same and agree to disagree but work towards the collective good of both.  Our country needs that, our community needs that, our company needs that, and our families need that.

For this reason, the HDS Companies will make ELECTION DAY 2020 a PAID company holiday.  We hope that more companies will also look at this day with the same importance.  We want you to prepare your ballots and send them ahead of time if you are voting by mail.  *** I can promise you that right now the US Mail service is running behind 1-2 weeks at times on regular mail.  We have had many issues related to this with Accounting and this is not made up.  It’s real.  So, do it early, and make sure you have plenty of time for your ballot to get there timely.  If you are going to vote in person, wear your masks and shields, take antibacterial and make it happen!  Ask our family if anyone needs assistance or a ride to their polling place.  You can also volunteer at many locations – you can contact your local precinct and they will provide you information.  Use the day to be part of this process because that is what Democracy is all about. 

 Your vote is precious.  USE IT!

– Cristina 

 

HDS Votes

National Voter Registration Day

It's National Voter Registration Day! Make sure to register to VOTE by October 5th. Step 1 in the registration process is to register. You must be registered by October 5th to vote for the 2020 Presidential Election. The registration process is SO EASY! Click...

HDS Companies Election Day 2020 Announcement

HDS Companies Election Day 2020 Announcement

Cristina Miranda Gilson, HDS Companies' CEO, announced last Friday that HDS Companies will make ELECTION DAY 2020 a PAID company holiday. This action provides each employee the ability to make their plans to VOTE and to assist their family and friends in getting to...