CEO: Vote (And Here’s Why)

Nov 1, 2018, 12:53 PM by Chris Coker

August 18, 1920, March 30, 1870, and May 26, 1965.

In 1920 my Grandpa was 20 years old, and in 1965 I was 2 years old. I am ignoring the 1870 date because I don’t have any trite tidbit to throw in there. 

However, all of these dates are not trite; they signify watershed moments in history. In 1870 the 15th Amendment granted black men the right to vote, and in 1920, women were given the right to vote through the 19th Amendment. It was not until 1965 that black Americans’ right to vote was given any teeth. Up until that time, there were southern states that blocked them from voting. 

This is in MY lifetime, this is not a historical event. This is current history. The same thing goes for women’s right to vote. That was less than 100 years ago, just four generations.

The YMCA has three pillars that it strives to uphold: Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. And there is no greater social responsibility than voting. 

Please role model this behavior for your child. If you vote via the early ballot, then sit down with your child and discuss how and why you are voting in a certain way and fill it out with them. If you go to the voting booth, take your kid with you. Teach them that the socially responsible thing to do is to vote. 

Even the youngest of kids can do the math and see that each vote matters in these circumstances.

Did you know that during the 2016 election, the percentage of people who voted as compared to the voting age population was 59.7%? In 1960 that same number was 62.77%. 

People have died for the right to vote, and basically for the past 58 years, just over half of us actually vote. No wonder our politicians don’t try to represent our points of view any more. They are simply the drones of their respective party. The approval rating for Congress this year has not gotten above 20% and has been as low as 13%. I hope that this one final stat will make you run for the polls: Justin Bieber has had an approval rating of 24%. Run!

And remember, if you don’t vote, you don’t have the right to complain.


Chris Coker 
YMCA of Boulder Valley