Rippy column: Wake up, wise up and vote
Midterm general-election ballots will be landing in mailboxes throughout Garfield County in the coming weeks. When that ballot arrives, my advice is to wake up, wise up and vote!
Wake up. Because, as Americans, we tend to take the right to vote for granted. It’s easy to forget that our forefathers and mothers fought and died, so that we could have a voice in who governs us. Going way back in the history books to 1776 and the Revolutionary War, one of the rallying cries was “no taxation without representation.” Americans wanted a say, a vote, and approximately 25,000 soldiers died for that ideal. Not quite so far back, it is astonishing to think that the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote was only codified in 1920.
The right to vote was hard won and remains, to this day, one of the greatest privileges we have in our democratic republic. The ability to cast a ballot is our inheritance as American citizens. It is easy to get disillusioned by the current political atmosphere but that’s not a reason to opt out.
Your vote in the midterms matters.
Since top offices like president and vice president aren’t on the ticket this time around, many people believe the midterm elections don’t matter. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Right now, we have one-party rule — nationally and in Colorado — with no checks and balances. The Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Up for election in November are 100% of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, 100% of the seats in the Colorado State House of Representatives as well as many local offices.
The midterms are often a referendum on the current president and party in office. According to Monmouth University Poll, taken in July, 88% of Americans believe the U.S. is on the wrong track, with President Biden receiving a 58% disapproval rate from respondents worried about an economy that continues to decline while prices soar.
What can you do?
Wise Up. When your ballot arrives in the mail, don’t sit on it for a month, promising yourself that you’ll get to it before Election Day on Nov. 8. If you don’t know the candidates or their position on the issues, it’s easy to find out more. Attending events is the best way to personally engage with those running for office. “Meet & Greets” are casual gatherings, while candidate forums or debates offer a more formal format for learning about the top issues that affect you and your family. Another option is to read up on the candidates. GarfieldCountyRepublicans.com is an excellent resource loaded with information about Republicans running for office.
Now, even before your ballot arrives, is a good time to make sure you are registered to vote, and that all your voter information is correct with the Colorado Secretary of State. To check, go to GoVoteColorado.com. You can even sign up for BallotTrax (ballottrax.com) to verify that your ballot was received.
Vote! If you think we’re on the right track, go ahead and sleep through the midterms. If, like most Americans, you think our country and state are headed in the wrong direction, wake up, wise up and vote in the 2022 midterms.
Gregg Rippy of Glenwood Springs chairs the Garfield County Republicans and is a former state representative for House District 57.
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