Andrew V. Morton: Why I Vote

As part of our Gear Up to Vote effort, we asked our employees, members and partner organizations to share what motivates them to vote. This Why I Vote perspective reflects the opinion of Andrew V. Morton, sales manager at the REI in Rockville, Maryland.

Voting is beyond important to me. As a person of color who is a descendant of slaves, I carry my ancestors and their sacrifices on my back. I think of what they endured, not only for my right to vote, but my right to exist. I think of the persons whose blood runs within my veins who were considered three-fifths of a human, and how they endured struggle and strife for me to have a voice in the governing offices of this country.

I think of my father who served 30+ years serving and fighting for this country in the Air Force and its inhabitants, the selfless sacrifice he and others have made for us all to be free … and to vote.

One of my greatest motivators is the generations walking the path of life behind me. The results of elections impact me, but those who cannot vote are impacted further. The child in school dreaming of a future with endless possibilities, the baby just born unknowing of what is to come. All of these brilliant and uncounted minds matter to me.

The fate of my future as a black, gay male in this country motivates me, not wanting to see incessant injustice. Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice and so many others motivate me. They should be here, voting too. And yet they aren’t.

It motivates me that as a people, if we speak up, stand up and cast our vote, we can be as the moon is to the tide of the sea and change the way it hits the shore.

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