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Op-ed: Voting and Civility Matter in this Election

by Dr. Maurice Scherrens, President of Newberry College - October 27, 2020


Dear Newberry College Community,


Over the next couple of weeks, our state and country will once again choose whom we wish to represent us in government. Through the time-honored practice of voting, we are given the opportunity to have our voices heard. Our vote is how we show our support for those pursuing public office, and the outcome of our voting will not only affect the next two, four and six years, but will undoubtedly impact our lives far beyond the years of their terms.


I write to you today to simply urge you to take the time to vote. Your vote matters. It is said that over 100 million people did not vote in the last presidential election, and I am sure there were similar numbers of non-voters in previous elections. Let us all turn that trend around and get out and vote.


Throughout our history, many have sacrificed so that we now all enjoy the right to vote. This year, in fact, marks 100 years of women’s right to vote, and the Civil Rights Movement only half a century ago to ensure the same right of African Americans. So please let us show the world how unified our country can be as we set all-time records for voter turnout.


Let us also show the world that when the ballots are counted and the winners are proclaimed, we accept the results with dignity, grace and civility. As much as our votes matter in this upcoming election, what matters even more is our national and individual capacity to treat each other with respect and compassion. Winners will celebrate the moment and losers will concede defeat, but the true victory for our country is only realized when we can put aside our differences and move forward together.


There are several options available to you for voting, including voting by mail, voting early at your local election office, or voting in person on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. If you are registered in South Carolina, click here for information on how you can vote. If you are registered in another U.S. state, click here.


We are all in this together. Stay safe and take care.




Maurice W. Scherrens

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