The Right To Vote

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I’ve grown up with the Great Neck Record and you were always a source of information for our community. Residents knew that what you published was in fact true and trusted information about what was going on in Great Neck. In this day and age of technology, with an overload of information and unknown sources, and opinions being considered as fact, we have a very confused population. It seems that these days, rules just don’t apply to anyone anymore. False facts are being printed, personal attacks regarding public matters are being printed and opposing sides want to take each other’s right to vote away entirely.

You recently published a letter to the editor titled “An Uninformed Vote Is Worse Than No Vote” on April 26. This article hurt me at the core of my American heart. I can’t say that there has ever been a sadder time in American history, and what is happening in Great Neck is no different than what is happening across America. The country, as another resident put it, is in “flux.” Maybe there was a time that was sadder…when the white man would say black former slaves or women were too ignorant and uninformed to vote so they shouldn’t vote at all. This is not the America that our civil warriors lost their lives for, certainly not what our forefathers had in mind.

Please everyone, respect each other and the opposing side. For if we cannot respect the opposition, then America is no better than any non-democracy we all escaped from at some generation or another. Every American citizen in this country and town deserves the right to vote. It is both a privilege and a civic responsibility. Regardless of their religious beliefs, racial background, skin color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, familial status or education level. I added education, as this is not a protected class under federal law, but nonetheless, one citizen does not have the right to tell another citizen, or even allude to, not to vote for any reason whatsoever. All citizens have already earned the right to vote.
This is our America. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, liberal or conservative, or any other opposing sides as there are too many to list, it doesn’t matter as there is no “right” way to be. Every position is an opinion. But we all, as citizens, have the right to vote.

In many previous elections, we have had a very narrow percentage of our population vote, especially in local elections. I urge all Great Neck citizens to exercise their right on May 16. However you vote, I will respect you. I may believe in one direction and you may believe in another, but I will always defend your right to vote and respect your opinion. In my lifetime, I have helped register hundreds of people to vote and there is no privilege more valuable in our country or town than the right to vote. I urge you to take care of it. If you are not registered, go out and register to vote right now at www.registertovote.org.

May the right thing happen for the Great Neck community as a whole. Thank you for listening.

—Talin Eshaghoff

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