Views expressed in letters to the editor do not represent opinions of The Gazette-Virginian or staff members.

To the editor:

A “Letter to the Editor” appeared recently in a local newspaper asking, “Why Vote?,” a question that has been asked and answered by hundreds of high school government teachers.

In a representative democracy such as ours, “we the people” have the responsibility of selecting those who represent us in local, state and federal government. 

The term democracy, defined as “rule by the people,” was coined by the Greeks of ancient Athens. As applied to the 2020 Presidential Election, we observed that definition put into action. 

Record numbers of eligible voters cast nearly 158 million ballots, which represented close to two thirds of eligible voters participating. Not since the election of 1900 had voter participation reached that level. Mr. Biden received over 81 million votes while Mr. Trump received over 74 million. 

As to the integrity of the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, state-by-state votes were carefully tabulated by our fellow citizens who served as volunteer poll workers and election officials. In some cases votes were recounted. 

Numerous challenges and lawsuits were filed and reviewed by state and federal courts including the United States Supreme Court. None changed the outcome. 

Despite the chaos and turmoil at the Capital on Jan. 6, 2021, Electoral College votes were counted and certified by a Joint Session of Congress with Mr. Biden receiving 306 Electoral College votes.

Regardless of whether you were pleased or disappointed with the results of our most recent Presidential Election, the process was conducted in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations governing our free and fair elections.

Returning to the letter writer’s question of “why vote?,” voting is our chance as American citizens to stand up for the issues we care about. Not voting is giving up our voices and allowing someone else to make decisions for us. I want my voice to be heard and that’s why I vote.

Larry Clark