This is What Makes America Amazing: 9 Countries Where You Still Cannot Vote

America is amazing. Yes, it’s 33 degrees in New York City today, and in addition to the disgruntled confusion over where to vote, lines at the polling stations wrapped around the block. 

Elsewhere in the country, like say Miami, it was 80 degrees and with the general multi-hour line hold ups that only a sunshine swing state can provide, patrons sweat profusely while they waited in the heat.

And yet everyone, even those, and especially those less fortunate East Coasters who watched Sandy ravage their homes and belongings to bits, still had their civic right to vote — heat, frost, hurricane and all. The same can’t be said for all nations around the globe.

The 2012 U.S. Election was mired in controversial rhetoric on Syria, abortion, jobs creation — but the point is, they were available discourses, open and subject to loud-mouthed, free-spoken, nationwide criticism in conversation, the blogosphere, Twittersphere, Facebook, Tumblr, you name it.

If only the same were true in: Zimbabwe, where 2013 elections may be delayed because the country cannot afford them; United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Brunei, all with limited suffrage; Saudi Arabia, where women cannot vote at all; Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, where members of the armed forces cannot vote. Then, of course, there was the recent "re-election" of Chavez to Venezuela, and Putin's rerun appointment in Russia.  

The right to vote, the fair choice that you and I have, doesn't mitigate the political, economic and social hardships Americans face every single day, but it does make the nation's achievements, however minor, however bittersweetly seared in historical remembrance, that much more part of a cogent effort.

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Caira Conner

Caira is the Community Editor at Mic. She is also a tennis lover, WorldTeach Chile alum and former intern of the Clinton Global Initiative. Caira has a master's degree in international affairs from New York University. She does not live in Brooklyn.

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