-By Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm
August 16, 2012- I don't know what's worse: Is it that a party would deliberately seek to deny American citizens the right to vote knowing full well the extraordinary sacrifices that went into securing those rights? Or is it that there are so many Americans who – with that same knowledge of sacrifice and for whatever unsatisfactory reason — decide to give in to apathy and simply choose not to vote?
I do know this: our history demands we do better.
A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll found that an estimated 90 million people won't vote this fall. That's more than a quarter of the population of the United States.
You — or someone you know — may be one of those 90 million choosing not to vote. Voting is not compulsory. America is a free country. A free country honored by 1.3 million soldiers who've died since 1775 defending our nation and our precious right to vote.
It's also the same free country that today saw thousands of immigrants line up for their newly granted relief from deportation –immigrants desperately wanting to stay in America, to be citizens of America, to vote in America. Immigrants who were brought here at great risk and great cost just for a chance to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities built upon our right to vote.
If you're one of those 90 million people, you can certainly choose to reject that right, for whatever reason. You might think you're too busy to vote; or that the partisan fighting makes you nauseous; or maybe you feel your vote doesn't count. But let me tell you: If you're staying at home because you're disgusted by the negative tone of the campaign; or you believe both sides run the same vile, lying, attack ads; or because you're turned off by politics: Congratulations, you are fulfilling someone else's agenda. You are following their plan to the letter.