Author photo

By Mel Makaw
contributing writer 

Time to vote

On the Bright Side


October 29, 2022

Mel Makaw.

Have you voted already? I have.

I got my ballot in the mail, did my homework and filled it out, and mailed it in already. About the time you're reading this, I will be getting a confirmation that my vote has been received and will be counted.

How easy is that?

It's easy enough that there are really no excuses for not voting in an election these days, either a presidential election or a midterm election like this one. Despite the ongoing efforts of some folks to make voting harder across the land, it has become noticeably easier here in California with the mail-in vote.

One way or another, I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and vote November 8 (by mail before or in person on the day) as this is one of the most important elections we've ever had. This election (like most of them) could determine the future of our democracy, and for some of us and our dependents, could literally be a matter of life or death. You deserve to have a voice in that decision.

I have traditionally always enjoyed the ritual of going to my polling place and physically marking my ballot (usually with cheat sheet in hand so I can remember all the things I need to remember) but this year, like last year, I've taken advantage of the mail-in option. I find I rather like filling out my ballot at home, at my own pace and with no pressure, and then depositing it in a certified mail drop or the good ol' trusty post office.

Voting is a great privilege, and a duty, and we are fortunate to have the right to vote for the people who will serve us and the propositions and laws that will guide us. If we don't vote, our American way of life will become dictated by the few who do go to voice an opinion, which is, actually, a fine way to defeat the American way of life. If all Americans are to remain free and in control of their own lives and destinies, then all Americans need to take part in the process of making decisions.

I believe in the American process of making choices by voting, even as I also know that many Americans will not bother to vote at all. And as irritating as the campaigning and advertising may be, the idea of someone just blowing off the opportunity to vote is even more irritating. Voting is how we keep America free and on course to "form a more perfect union:" the right to vote to determine our own character as a nation and to be well represented as a people is what we have been fighting for, for centuries.

We all count, and we are all important to the process. We are all smart enough to vote, if we only take a few moments to study the candidates and the issues. All of us have a right to help make decisions, to let our elected officials know how we feel about things; all of us should have a say in who those elected officials are going to be (electing officials who will honor the will of the people rather than their own narrow interests). All of our voices matter, whether we end up on the winning side or the losing side.

Election day is always a day when we are reminded that the government is there to serve us, and that we are in control of the people we elect and the laws and issues we favor or reject. We are in charge, and we can keep it that way by voting.

So whether you vote early in October or on the November 8 election day – or any time in between – this election period is the time to do the most American thing we can ever do in America: vote.

© 2022 Mel Makaw. Mel, local photographer/writer and voter, has looked on the bright side for various publications since 1996. She welcomes your comments at


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