And Today we Vote. Be Counted!

This morning, I exercised my right as a US citizen and voted.

Putting aside the strange voting machines – paper ballots inserted into a scanner (which is a step-up from the Shoup” Lever Voting machines we had two years ago) – and the elderly poll volunteer with the thick Russian accent who laughed at me for asking for an “I voted” sticker, it was a quick and seamless experience for me.

So who did I vote for?

Well, I’m a firm believer that we must take part in the voting process. The question is not if we vote, but rather who, if anyone gets our vote.

With that said, we should vote for & support candidates we believe in, and to put it quite frankly, I don’t believe in the promises made by either Presidential candidate.

Romney is a pathological “flip flopper” – just look at what his Republican friends had to say about him. As for Obama, I’ve been extremely disappointed with his stances on issues of personal interest – from civil liberties, immigration to Syria and the contradictory US positions on the uprising across the Arab world.

With that said, I’ll tell you in a moment who I voted for…

Be Counted. Numbers do Matter.

From NAAP to NNAAC to AAI to CAIR, I’m sure you’ve heard from our community institutions that the most important thing for Arab-Americans and Muslims on Election Day is to hit the polls hard and be counted.

Why?

After the election, officials, campaigns and civic groups will conduct counts to see who voted in their districts – and while they go through the voting records to see who was present they can’t see who you voted for.

When community representatives advocate with elected officials, the politicians first look to see if there is a voting constituency he/she has to worry about.

Plain and simple: if you don’t vote, politicians won’t listen to your community’s needs. Voting is one of the most basic and entry-level actions we can take to advance our community. It is a starting point – the real advocacy to ensure politicians hear us, and stay honest happens between election cycles.

Yalla, so who did I vote for?

The answer is neither Romney nor Obama – I left the Presidential choices blank.

I focused my vote on selecting candidates running for local races (Congress and Judges) and most importantly made sure my vote was casted.

Of course, I would’ve shared with you a picture of my ballot, however that would be illegal 🙂

So Yalla ya Arab! Go Vote to be counted! Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, part of the Working Family party, Communist or even Hizb-al-Shay (j/k), just Vote!

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