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Quotations about Voting


Voting is like alchemy — taking an abstract value and breathing life into it. Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world. And the imperative to vote is genuinely nonpartisan. ~Sharon Salzberg, on HuffPost, 2012

Not voting is not a protest — it is a surrender. ~Keith Ellison, 2016

There's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter. It all matters. ~Barack Obama, 2016

When Your Vote Doesn't Count, Neither Do You  ~Missy Beattie, 2005

Why can we land people on the Moon, machines on Mars and transfer trillions internationally, but can't figure out how to run efficient, accurate and fair elections? ~Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., 2004

It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting... ~Tom Stoppard, Jumpers, 1972  [Dotty —tg]

Thank God that it is a battle of ballots and not of bullets... ~Charles F. Raymond, Just Be Glad, 1907

BALLOT BOX.  The altar of democracy. ~H. L. Mencken

People on whom I do not bother to dote
Are people who do not bother to vote...
And excuse themselves by saying What's the difference of one vote in fifty million?
They have such refined and delicate palates
That they can discover no one worthy of their ballots,
And then when someone terrible gets elected
They say, There, that's just what I expected!...
Oh let us cover these clever people very conspicuously with loathing,
For they are un-citizens in citizens' clothing...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Election Day Is a Holiday"

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote — a very different thing. ~Walter H. Judd

Voting is a civic sacrament, which should not be exercised carelessly. ~William F. Buckley, Jr.

The right to vote is the fundamental citizenship right that protects all other rights. ~Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., 2005

Voting is the language of democracy. ~Wade Henderson

The right to vote has and always will remain the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society. We must, each and every one of us, continue to protect this sacred right and ensure everyone is afforded the opportunity to vote. ~John Lewis

I pledged that as long as I am in a position to uphold the Constitution, no barrier would ever come between a secret ballot and the citizen's right to cast one... For this Nation to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American's vote to be denied, diluted, or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished. ~Ronald Reagan, 1981

We must come to see that so long as we are voteless we will be voiceless, and we must gain the ballot... ~Martin Luther King, Jr., speech, 1957

Make no mistake, here in our time, it's more important than ever that we show up to vote, not just this year, but every year and in every election. Every voice must be heard and every vote must be counted. ~Michelle Obama, 2012

Our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up in the polls. ~Peggy Noonan, Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now, 2008

[W]e need to build our democracy and our voting system on a rock, the rock of adding a Voting Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that applies to all states and all citizens. ~Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., 2005

How about laws that make it harder to shoot people and easier to vote? ~@LOLGOP, tweet, 2014

When it comes to voting rights, Democrats push voter protection while Republicans shout voter fraud in a crowded polling place. Democrats think anyone who can vote should vote; Republicans think everyone who should vote can vote. ~Christine Pelosi, 2010

Lucy: Life is a mystery, Charlie Brown… Do you know the answer?
Charlie Brown: Be kind, don't smoke, be prompt, smile a lot, eat sensibly, avoid cavities and mark your ballot carefully…
~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1969

I have come here today not to talk about the past but to focus on the future. That future will be shaped more by what happens on November 8th in voting booths across our nation than by any other event in the world. ~Bernie Sanders, 2016

Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper. ~Larry Flynt

The vote is the emblem of your equality, women of America, the guarantee of your liberty. That vote of yours has cost millions of dollars and the lives of thousands of women. Money to carry on this work has usually been given as a sacrifice, and thousands of women have gone without things they wanted and could have had in order that they might help get the vote for you. Women have suffered agony of soul which you can never comprehend, that you and your daughters might inherit political freedom. That vote has been costly. Prize it. The vote is a power, a weapon of offense and defense, a prayer. Use it conscientiously, intelligently, prayerfully. Understand what it means and what it can do for your country. ~Carrie Chapman Catt

We'd all like to vote for the best man, but he's never a candidate. ~Kin Hubbard  [spelling standardized —tg]

Here's to the woman with many a care,
Who sits all day in an office chair.
And at night, when her day's work there is through
Goes home and finds more work to do;
Gets up in the morning and cooks and scrubs,
And wrestles round with laundry tubs;
Yet the usual hour finds her smiling there,
Beside her desk, in the office chair.
If she's strong enough these burdens to tote,
Here's to the State where they let her vote!
~Author unknown, "A Real Toast," 1914

A mugwump is a man in politics who never votes for anybody, but who is always voting against somebody. ~Richard Croker, 1890s

In this country people don't vote for, they vote against. ~Will Rogers (1879–1935)

Hell, I never vote for anybody. I always vote against. ~W. C. Fields (1880–1946)

Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least. ~Robert Byrne, The Third — and Possibly the Best — 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, 1986

VOTE, n.  The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country. ~Ambrose Bierce, 1906

Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? ~Robert Orben

Some of the United States Senators seem to fear they are not popular enough to risk election by popular vote. ~Philadelphia Press, 1906

If Voting Changed Anything, They'd Abolish It  ~Ken Livingstone, 1987

Give a loaded revolver to an infant and a vote to an ignorant man, and the second crime is worse than the first. ~Austin O'Malley (1858–1932), Thoughts of a Recluse, 1898

The honest, virtuous, intelligent, independent vote is the noblest power of a freeman, but the purchasable vote, the ignorant vote, the vicious and servile vote, is the opportunity of the knave and the scoundrel. The purity of the ballot is the only safety of a Republic, and no greater danger threatens this nation to-day than that which arises from the corruption of the suffrage. ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is the Bible Worth Reading and Other Essays, 1911

So what's next — eliminating presentee ballots? ~Robert Brault, 2022,

My heart votes for you, and what am I, indeed, to dispute her ballot! ~Emily Dickinson, 1859

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