Radio Address to the Nation on Voter Participation
My fellow Americans:
seems hard to believe that only a week ago at this time, I was in
in just a few weeks, we Americans are once again going to show the world the
one thing that, more than any other, is the source of our strength. We'll go to
the polls, and as a free people, we'll vote. This year we'll be casting ballots
in many States for Senators, Governors, and other officials; and everywhere
we'll be voting for a new House of Representatives. But just as important as
how we vote is that we vote. Every vote cast on election day
means that we the people have taken a hand in shaping our nation's future.
Every time we vote we're grabbing a hold of a lifeline that's 3,000 miles long
and more than two centuries old and, with millions of others, helping to pull
I'm sure you've heard friends say, ``Oh, my vote won't matter.'' Well, the next time someone says that to you, I hope you'll remember that time and again, over the years, elections have turned on a handful of ballots. In 1960 President Kennedy was elected by a margin of just one vote in each precinct around the nation. In 1976 the Presidential election turned on two States: one was won by six votes a precinct; the other by only a single vote a precinct. And in the last 26 years more than 50 U.S. Senate and House races have been won by fewer than a thousand votes. But even when elections aren't that close, your ballot counts, because in voting, you're accepting your part in the greatest decisionmaking body the world has ever known, the American electorate. And as someone who's stayed up late on many election nights waiting to hear how the American people had decided, I can tell you that from where I sit -- whether elections are close or not -- every vote is important.
little more than 2 years ago, I walked along a beach in
visited our men and women in uniform all over the world. It's the part of this
job I like best. They're some of the best we've ever had. And if you're one of
them, let me say to you that helping to protect
Nancy and I voted last night. We won't be home on election day, so we got absentee ballots. We filled them out, signed them, and sent them on their way. If, like us, you're going to be away on November 4th, why not arrange for your own absentee ballot? Call your local election officials, or if you're in the military, talk to your commanding officer or voting assistance officer.
is a precious right that for two centuries Americans have fought and died to
protect. Let's all honor that sacrifice this election day. Whether you're
Republican, Democrat, or Independent, circle November 4th on your calendar and
then show that you care about
Until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.
The President spoke at from