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The Only Votes that Count Are Those that Can Be Counted!

Author: Leslie G. Sarasin

The Independent View

Leslie Sarasin

The Only Votes that Count Are Those that Can Be Counted!  

 October 22, 2012 


It has been observed that in a free democratic system, we get the governmental leaders we deserve. After all, American citizenry has a say in every step of the political process—which candidates run for office, how deeply their campaigns are undergirded and who gets elected to serve.

And it is a sad reality that although everyone has a vote, the leadership of our nation gets decided by the 50 to 55 percent who exercise their voting privileges, but is equally determined by the 45 to 50 percent who refuse, fail or forget to cast a ballot. Or as former treasury secretary William E. Simon expressed it, "Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote."

The point in which all American citizens should feel the most empowered is when they stand in the ballot booth because there—and only there—they wield as much influence as Bill Gates, are on equal footing with Donald Trump, and have just as much political clout as any pundit, news anchor, star or blogger. The few square feet of the polling booth is the only space where each American stands on absolutely level ground with the rich, the famous and the powerful.

Of course, we know the November election bears the national and international consequence of determining who sits in the Oval office for the next four years, but that decision also has direct food retail industry consequences. The President determines the political appointments who lead the multitude of regulatory agencies whose judgments, enforcements and determinations affect our industry every single day. On the legislative side of the balance of power triangle, this election will determine party control—thus the leadership—of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. That not only has a bearing on the legislation that passes or fails in the immediate future, but even the bills that make it to the floors of the House of Representatives and Senate for consideration. Additionally, those elected on November 6th will potentially have a say in the make-up of the Supreme Court. And these are just the consequences on the national level.

As a labor intensive industry, our voice can and should make a difference this year. I invite you to inform your company's associates of a link on the FMI website where they can type in their home zip codes and get information on registration, absentee ballots and in-person early voting. This is a project FMI has spearheaded for a number of years with BIPAC, the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, and it has been utilized by a number of FMI member companies to help their associates navigate the dates, means and locations for voting. It does not advocate on behalf of any candidate or party. It will not tell anyone how they should vote. It does provide them the resources they need to make sure they can vote. This election is sure to be close on a number of levels and in many races, so every vote could make a difference. The BIPAC site is assessable through FMI.org.

To get the quality of leaders we truly want, each of us must act as if the outcome of every election depends upon our single vote—because in a very real sense it does.


Leslie Sarasin