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Did you know that the United States Constitution does not guarantee the right to vote? This was an issue left out by the framers of the Constitution, thus leaving it up to the states to control their own elections. Over the years, five amendments have dealt with specific voting rights but, to this day, we still don't have a universal protected right to vote enshrined in the Constitution.

To me, voting is the greatest privilege of being an American citizen. We should not take it for granted. I believe that voting is our solemn responsibility. There are too few people in the United States who are participating in this most democratic of processes. Just 56 percent of eligible Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election. Here in Arizona, the 2016 voter turnout was 50 percent. In mid-term elections the percentages are even lower.

As Thomas Jefferson said; "We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." Think about it. A relatively small number of people are making the decisions that will affect everyone.

If you are thinking about voting this year, please make a commitment to participate. The future of our democracy depends on it.

JEFF GOULDEN

Flagstaff

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