Recent Op-Eds

Exercise in Democracy

October 19, 2012

Throughout our history, young men and women have answered the call of their country to defend liberty and the freedoms we enjoy. They have served within our borders and around the world in the name of democracy and justice. Soon, we will all have the opportunity to exercise one of the greatest civic responsibilities resulting from those efforts – the right of every man and woman to vote.

As someone who has been through the process of placing my name on a ballot and asking South Dakotans for their vote, I know firsthand how seriously residents of this state take their vote, and we should. After months of commercials, mailers, yard signs, and advertisements, Election Day is almost upon us. Whether you are someone who requests your ballot and votes early or someone who enjoys the routine of going to your precinct polling place, maybe even with your spouse or children, it is important to make your voice heard.

In South Dakota, every voter has an opportunity to interact with the people they are deciding between and we have an opportunity to put forward issues important to us on the ballot. Democracy is alive and strong in South Dakota, but only when we all take the opportunity to make our voices heard.

I have had the chance to talk to Iraqis who cast their first ballot and the pride and excitement they have for this right that we may tend to take for granted. Sometimes, it is easy to forget how fortunate we are in this country, even with the political and issue signs and advertisements around every corner, literally.

Being entrusted with your vote and representing you in the U.S. Senate is a privilege I enjoy, thanks to those who keep us safe. Thank you to our men and women in uniform and our veterans for preserving our democracy so we can cast our votes on November 6th.