Registering to vote: It’s your responsibility

Published 6:04 pm Saturday, September 20, 2008

On Oct. 4, Selma’s McDonald’s on Highland Avenue will hold a MAC the Vote registration drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to get more young people to register to vote.

Everyone who registers that Saturday will receive a free apple pie and the opportunity to win a $100 Arch card for food.

Interestingly, the manager of the McDonald’s Wesley Hall said a couple of his employees said they had never voted and didn’t know how to register.

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How quickly we have forgotten the history of the struggle for the vote by 18-year-olds — a majority of the people this voter registration drive should attract.

Nearly 37 years ago, a group of young people pushed and shoved their way onto the voter rolls. Many of them were called to fight, kill and some of them to die in a little Southeastern Asian country, Vietnam.

But they couldn’t vote.

In fact, through most of American history, young men and women fought and died in our wars, but they had to reach their 21st birthdays before they could vote.

In June 1971, then-President Richard Nixon certified the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that lowered the voting age to 18.

But the numbers of young people who vote have dipped during the last generation. Here in the city that pushed over the 1965 Voting Rights Act, it would seem that everyone with the ability to vote would register.

It shouldn’t take an apple pie to act responsibly as a citizen. But if that’s what it takes, then please, take advantage of MAC the Vote and register.