Get out the VOTE! – 2012

With the local, state, and national campaigns underway and Ohio being a battleground state in the upcoming Presidential election, I have received a few requests to have Post 450 endorse a candidate or platform.  The American Legion is composed of members from all backgrounds and ideologies. To endorse one platform or candidate may go against the principles of many of our members and may not reflect their political views.

“The American Legion has made every attempt to foster a climate of non-partisanship. Under the terms of our organization’s congressional charter, The American Legion is non-political. One offshoot of this position is that no officer or member of The American Legion can make an endorsement of any political candidate or political party as a representative of The American Legion. This also includes any person who is seeking an appointed position. However, The American Legion family members are urged to be involved in the electoral process.”

“You’re encouraged to work on the campaign of a candidate you favor to help advance the legislative positions of The American Legion. However, a Legionnaire, Auxiliary member, or SAL member must NOT make any indication – by word or deed – that the work for their selected candidate has the support of any part of The American Legion family. For example, if a Legionnaire is asked to speak at a rally for the candidate he or she supports, it is incumbent on the Legionnaire to make it clear he or she is speaking as a private citizen and not as a representative of The American Legion and without cap, pins or name tag.”

In our democratic society, the right to cast our ballot for the candidate we feel best represents our ideas is part of our Constitution. With the sacrifices made by our veterans and current active duty men and women to defend the Constitution, it is not only a right, but our duty and responsibility to vote.

Watching events unfold around the world and at home, it is more important than ever to get involved in the electoral process. Listen to the various viewpoints with an open mind, do your own research, and make your decisions on what you know to be best for you, your family, community, state and nation.

Encourage others to get involved and support the “Get out the Vote” initiatives. Don’t let others make the choices for you, be a leader in your community, VOTE!

“On Election Day, you can wear your cap into the voting booth as a visible sign that veterans are engaged in the selection of government officials. None of these actions violate the non-partisan nature of The American Legion. They merely demonstrate we are active participants in the electoral process. But do not wear the cap, pin or name tag if electioneering at the poll.”

In this great country, participation in the electoral process is voluntary, there is nothing forcing you to, or not to, vote. As for me, it’s a right that I plan on exercising so that my small voice, mixed with other like-minded individuals, will be heard.

Hope to see you at the Polls!