Even though Felipe is helping to build Iraq’s new democracy, it is Election Day and Felipe’s thoughts turn stateside, but in a non-partisan way.

Date: Tuesday, 02 November 2004

Subject: Vote

Lately its not the mortars or the gunfire that knots my stomach or keeps me up at night.

It’s the US Presidential election, and not so much because of who may win or who may lose (although I have a strong preference). It’s the thought that millions upon millions of Americans will not vote. They will decide that they’d rather sleep in, take a long lunch, go shopping, wash the car, catch a movie, watch TV, grab a drink, whatever.

Meanwhile, 140,000 of their sons, daughters, friends, neighbors, fiancees, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, cousins, co-workers, brothers and sisters are half-way around the world dodging roadside bombs, snipers, mortars, and suicide bombers. Spreading democracy.

It’s so funny it hurts.

Please vote today. Make sure those around you vote. Remind them of why it matters. Remind them of what it costs.

My research concerns Get Out The Vote efforts by parties and organizations. It is easy for me to maintain a cold and detached view of voting. Perhaps I should read letters from people like Felipe more often to remind me of why democracy is important. I guess there are no abstainers in foxholes.

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