QUOTES ON THE IMPORTANCE OF VOTING
"We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands: we have a check upon two branches of the legislature, as each branch has upon the other two; the power I mean of electing at stated periods, one branch, which branch has the power of electing another. It becomes necessary to every subject then, to be in some degree a statesman: and to examine and judge for himself of the tendencies of political principles and measures. "

John Adams, The Papers of John Adams, Robert J. Taylor, ed. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1977), Vol. 1, p. 81.


"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual--or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. "

Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), Vol. IV, p. 256.


"Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men."

Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), Vol. III, p. 236-237.


"Look well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust. "

Matthias Burnett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Norwalk, An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford, on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803 (Hartford: Printed by Hudson & Goodwin, 1803), p. 27.


"Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption."

James Garfield, "A Century of Congress" published in Atlantic, July 1877.


"A share in the sovereignty of the state, which is exercised by the citizens at large, in voting at elections is one of the most important rights of the subject, and in a republic ought to stand foremost in the estimation of the law. "

Alexander Hamilton, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Harold C. Syrett, ed. (New York, Columbia University Press, 1962), Vol III, pp. 544-545.


"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation , to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. "

John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. IV, p. 365.


"The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favored with an opportunity of deliberating upon and choosing the forms of government under which they should live. "

John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons, 1890), Vol. I, p. 161.


"Every male citizen of the commonwealth, liable to taxes or to militia duty in any county, shall have a right to vote for representatives for that county to the legislature. "

Thomas Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, ed. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1900), p. 842.


"Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights. "

Thomas Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, ed. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1900), p. 842.


"The elective franchise, if guarded as the ark of our safety, will peaceably dissipate all combinations to subvert a Constitution, dictated by the wisdom, and resting on the will of the people. "

Thomas Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, ed. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1900), p. 842.


"The rational and peacable instrument of reform, the suffrage of the people. "

Thomas Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, ed. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1900), p. 842.


"Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own. "

Daniel Webster, The Works of Daniel Webster (Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1853), Vol. II, p. 108.


"In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate--look to his character. "

Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education to Which is Subjoined a Brief History of the United States (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), p. 18.


"When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country. "

Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), p. 19.


"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be sqandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws. "

Noah Webster, History of the United States (New Haven: Durrie & Peck, 1832), pp. 336-337, 49.


"The people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches. "

John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, p. 267.


"Those who wish well to the State ought to choose to places of trust men of inward principle, justified by exemplary conversation. "

John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, p. 266.

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