In just two weeks, it will be Election Day in the United States. Most of us at Wittenberg will have the chance to participate in a process that will help set the course for the future. I imagine, in fact, that many of us already have. I will deliver my ballot to the Clark County Board of Elections drop box this week.
My first presidential election was 40 years ago. Things are different from back then, and not just because we find ourselves facing a global pandemic. There were not the same opportunities for early voting or mail-in ballots, so Election Day, a single Tuesday, meant more.
What hasn’t changed is how much I cherish the right to vote. It is a privilege and responsibility. It is an opportunity that many in the world do not have, and one that too many in this country face challenges to exercise. Amazingly, some even choose not to participate. Last week, I received a Voting Report Card from the Center for Voter Information that showed I am above average simply because I have voted in each of the last four general elections.
Part of Wittenberg’s mission is the challenge to you to become “responsible global citizens.” That starts at home with participation in the electoral process in our communities and country. I hope that for your generation voting in every election is the norm; it should not be above average, as it appears to be for my generation. It can be a part of how you pass on your light.
As we participate in the electoral process, I encourage all of us to engage with each other with civility and a willingness to listen and be open to different viewpoints. While political perspectives may span a wide range, I ask us all to respect each other and the dignity of all members of our community. With any political process, passions can run high. Let us commit ourselves to discourse that is civil and meaningful while demonstrating an ethic of care and compassion for others. As members of the Wittenberg community, we can stay true to our personal values while hearing differing perspectives on issues and candidates. Engaging others in difference helps us discern our own positions and motivates us to work toward seeking common solutions to problems facing our community, our nation, and the world.
All elections are important, but this one seems more so. It is too late to register, but if you are registered, please vote. Your voice matters. Make it count.
President Mike Frandsen
P.S. – Early voting, for those registered in Clark County, is within walking distance at the Turner Studio Theater, 300 S. Fountain St. (but enter on the S. Limestone St. side). You can vote Monday-Friday this week and any day from October 19-November 2. Check the hours here - https://www.boe.ohio.gov/clark/absentee-information/early-absentee-voti….