It has been for people who long yearned in vain for that right.Recall that first election in Iraq where so many more than 27 percent willingly risked being killed or maimed by standing in line in a war zone for hours in scorching heat just to cast their vote. Even here in 1953, when the carnage and sacrifices of the Second World War were still fresh in everyone’s mind, nationwide turnout was 93 percent.It seems we’ve forgotten something in the intervening years.Is not the act of voting the core representation of our values and principles — the central responsibility of citizenship and linchpin in our democratic system? For those who perceive an affront by anyone failing to stand for the national anthem, isn’t failing to vote an even greater demonstration of dishonor and disrespect? Doesn’t that failure tangibly threaten to render the sacrifices of our military, past and present, meaningless? Put bluntly, our collective shrug over the right to vote makes standing for the anthem pretty much an empty gesture.In overstressing a reflexive, subjective and somewhat self-righteous “test” of patriotism, we are effectively deflecting from more consequential citizen inattentions and inactions that more forcefully suggest dishonor and disrespect.In spite of all the self-serving excuses, no ballot really lacks import. Categories: Editorial, OpinionOn Tuesday, Nov. 7, we are having what is called an “off year election.”This is intended merely to describe the fact that none of the major federal or state offices are the subjects of this year’s vote. However, it also seems to imply that such elections are of lesser importance.This is a dangerous notion in a country where “turnout” — the percentage of eligible voters who actually cast a ballot — already is notoriously low in every election.It has become commonplace to rationalize this failure. “We call these local years ‘off years’ for a reason,” said a Schenectady County election commissioner four years ago explaining a paltry 27 percent turnout figure. “People have to have a reason to vote.” How about because so many brave people have served and died and still are — volunteering in distant lands, far from the comforts of home — to preserve and defend our right to do so in ours? Shouldn’t that be a good enough reason? First of all, these “off years” are when elections for local officials take place — as they are throughout the Capital Region — determining who will influence most directly our communities and day-to-day welfare. This year in Saratoga Springs, for example, in addition to electing a mayor and City Council, the key ballot concerns the actual system by which the city will be governed going forward.Important statewide ballot questions also regularly turn up in off-year elections. What is being asked statewiden this year is whether we should spend tens of millions of dollars to examine and redesign the state constitution. We’re also deciding on two amendments to that constitution separate from the convention question.So, on Tuesday, Nov. 7, put aside the weak complaints, self-righteous justifications, minor sacrifices and inconveniences — and vote!Use the gift protected and preserved at noble cost for you. Don’t just stand, salute and sing about it.John Figliozzi is a regular contributor to the Sunday Opinion section.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists
8:59 p.m.: Horrific call by the referee as Mucino connected on a hard left hook and then proceeded to give a clear forearm shove to Altive to send her to the mat. How the referee didn’t see the push is ridiculous because it happened right in front of him.8:45 p.m.: Right now at Munguia vs. Hogan, Arely Mucino defends the WBO women’s flyweight title against Yairneth Altive. Mucino (27-3-2, 10 KOs) beat Monserrat Alarcon in February 2018 and successfully defended it back in September when she earned a split-decision over Maria Salinas. Altive (10-2, 10 KOs), a police officer in Venezuela, defeated Maria Ortunes three weeks ago to get the opportunity to win her first world title shot.8:40 p.m. ET: Welcome to Sporting News’ live coverage of the card featuring the main event of WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia and Dennis Hogan. Grab everything you need for what should be an exciting night of action in the sweet science.Jaime Munguia vs. Dennis Hogan fight card resultsJaime Munguia def. Dennis Hogan by majority decision to retain the WBO Junior Middleweight titleDiego De La Hoya and Enrique Bernache fought to a no-contest; FeatherweightsPatrick Teixeira def. Mario Lozano by majority decision; Junior MiddleweightsArely Mucino def. Yairineth Altuve by unanimous decison to retain the WBO Women’s Flyweight titleIrving Turrubiates def. Jason Canoy by unanimous decision; FeatherweightsJavier Gonzalez def. Saul Gonzaez by unanimous decision; Lightweights The boxing world expected Jaime Munguia to run over Dennis Hogan in what could be his final bout at 154 pounds, before moving up to middleweight to face the likes of unified champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin and WBO titlist Demetrius Andrade.However, someone forgot to mention those plans to Hogan. The Irish boxer fought the best fight of his career and controlled the majority of the action Saturday night. Yet, Munguia won by majority decision (114-114, 116-112, 115-113) to retain the WBO junior middleweight championship at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. Sporting News scored the fight 115-113 for Hogan. “I knew I won the fight,” Hogan told DAZN’s Chris Mannix during his post-fight interview. “This is bad for boxing.” 😡 @Dennis_H_Hogan is NOT happy with that decision. #MunguiaHogan pic.twitter.com/MdhzJaI8rw— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) April 14, 2019MORE: Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearHogan (28-2-1, 7 KOs) set the tone from the opening bell, as he controlled the ring by using his footwork and jab to keep Munguia at bay and not let him fire off his power punches. During the fifth round, after the constant urging from his corner, Munguia finally started to pop the jab to set up his shots and it proved to be effective, as he connected on his patented hard body blows. Hogan appeared to be slowing down and it looked like Munguia was on his way to finish him off in the later rounds.But Hogan had other things in mind starting in the eighth round. That’s when the 34-year-old flipped the script and fought like Munguia for the remainder of the contest. He stayed in the pocket, traded punches with Munguia and often got the better of their exchanges, including rocking the Mexican boxer with an overhand right in the 11th round. During the 12th round, Munguia (33-0, 26 KOs) came out with a sense of urgency that he lacked the entire fight and connected on some big punches, but couldn’t put Hogan away. Still, he got the controversial win.There’s no doubt a rematch should take place. Hogan did more than enough to win. He controlled most of the action, never let Munguia execute his game plan and showed more heart inside the ring. Munguia fought like someone who felt he was the superior fighter and that Hogan should simply crumble because of that. Instead, Hogan was the aggressor. He didn’t ask his corner on two occasions between the eighth and ninth rounds if he was winning, as Munguia did.Hopefully, Hogan gets the opportunity to right a wrong and it happens outside of Mexico. He worked diligently to earn his first shot at a world title. But once again, the judging system in boxing proved to be deeply flawed and continues to hinder careers.Here is what happened at Jaime Munguia vs. Dennis Hogan.Jaime Munguia vs. Dennis Hogan resultsJaime Munguia beats Dennis Hogan by majority decision to retain the WBO junior middleweight title11:55 p.m.: Munguia def. Hogan by majority decision (114-114, 116-112, 115-113) to retain the WBO junior middleweight championship. A very puzzling decision. Hard to see where Munguia won the fight, as Hogan set the pace and forced Munguia to come to him. A rematch should happen. 11:49 p.m.: Round 12 to Munguia (10-9, 115-113 Hogan). Where was this Munguia the entire fight? He fought with urgency and landed some big punches. These judges’ scorecards will be interesting. Can Hogan get a decision in Mexico?11:45 p.m.: Round 11 to Hogan (10-9, 106-103 Hogan). Hogan’s keeping the foot on the gas pedal. An overhand right wobbled Munguia early in the round and Hogan never looked back. Munguia needs a knockout. Hogan should stay off the ropes and use the superior footwork which got him here.11:41 p.m.: Round 10 to Hogan (10-9, 96-94 Hogan). Great round for Hogan. He’s firing on all cyclinders. He clipped Munguia with a beautiful uppercut and then moments later, a nice shot to the body and a left hook. Munguia is in serious trouble.11:37 p.m.: Round 9 to Hogan (10-9, 86-85 Hogan). Hogan is showing more heart and the will to win. Munguia appears to be trying to survive. Munguia needs to find his intestinal fortitude really quick.11:33 p.m.: Round 8 to Hogan (10-9, 76-76). Munguia slightly took his foot off the pedal and Hogan made him pay with his continued activity and willingness to make it a fight. Between rounds, Munguia asked his corner two times if he was winning.11:29 p.m.: Round 7 to Munguia (10-9, 67-66 Munguia). Munguia has the fight in control. He continues to make Hogan pay for staying on the inside by pounding the body. Hogan deserves a lot of credit. He’s making the rounds close and is letting it all hang out.11:24 p.m.: Round 6 to Munguia (10-9, 57-57). The hard body shots from Munguia are beginning to take their toll on Hogan. Munguia controlled the round and is making Hogan fight his fight. 11:21 p.m.: Round 5 to Munguia (10-9, 48-47 Hogan). Munguia woke up and started going to the body. Doing so allowed him to go upstairs and land significant power punches. Hogan has to go back to his using his footwork and make Munguia chase him.11:17 p.m.: Round 4 to Hogan (10-9, 39-37 Hogan). Give Hogan credit. He’s doing the unconventional and going on the inside and getting the better of the power shots. He should have Munguia’s attention. Munguia cannot stand there and keep eating lefts and rights. He needs to stay composed and throw the jab or this is going to be an easy night for Hogan. 11:13 p.m.: Round 3 to Munguia (10-9, 29-28 Hogan). Early on in the round, Hogan stunned Munguia with a right hand. Halfway through the round, Munguia started to figure Hogan out and blasted him with two powerful straight rights. Munguia is getting into a rhythm. 11:08 p.m.: Round 2 to Hogan (10-9, 20-18 Hogan). Hogan is executing his game plan perfectly. The footwork is on point and he isn’t wasting punches, making every one of them count.11:05 p.m.: Round 1 to Hogan (10-9). Nothing of note except a flush right hook that Munguia walked through. Can see Munguia trying to get a feel for Hogan and figuring out his range10:51 p.m.: It is time for the main event, as Jaime Munguia defends the WBO junior middleweight title for the fourth time, as he battles Dennis Hogan. Can Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) deliver a knockout in his home country? Or does Hogan (28-1-1, 7 KOs) make the trek from Ireland and shock the boxing world?Diego De La Hoya and Enrique Bernache go to a no-contest due to an accidental headbutt10:42 p.m.: De La Hoya and Bernache fight to a no-contest. Early in the second round, De La Hoya and Bernache accidentally butted heads. Moments later, De La Hoya was going in for a left to body when they clashed heads one more time and Bernache had a severe gash right down the middle of his forehead. The ringside doctor looked at the severity of the cut and stopped the fight due to the deepness of it. The clash of heads that ended #DeLaHoyaBernache . 😬 #WatchOnDAZN pic.twitter.com/gB5c3k4yJM— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) April 14, 2019 A good call by the doctor as there was no way Bernache could go on. Would like to see them fight again.10:29 p.m.: It is time for the co-main event, as Diego De La Hoya takes on Enrique Bernache in featherweight action. De La Hoya (21-0, 10 KOs), the first cousin of Oscar, returns for the first time in 309 days due to medical ailments to being hospitalized due to kidney issues. Bernache (24-12, 12 KOs) comes in having lost three of his last four fights.The biggest issues of De La Hoya’s career has been his ability to make weight and commitment to the sport. While Bernache is a light puncher, he’s tough and durable. Out of his 12 defeats, he’s only been stopped three times. Bernache is there to provide rounds and test De La Hoya’s will and drive.Patrick Teixeira wins a majority decision over Mario Lozano10:17 p.m.: Teixeira def. Lozano via majority decision (96-94, 96-94, 95-95). A competitive fight, but don’t know what the judge who scored it a draw was thinking. Lozano didn’t show up until the eighth round when Teixeira had the previous seven rounds in the bank.Before the fight, Teixeira boldly claimed a win should net him a crack at Jamie Munguia if he beats Dennis Hogan. A performance like that won’t do it, though. Teixeira was content on staying on the outside. He only threw power shots when Lozano would fire off some of his own. If he secures a crack at Munguia and competes like that, it will be a short night at the office.9:55 p.m.: Teixeira is winning after six rounds, but not looking too impressive in doing so. At this point, he’s content to sit on the outside and utilize the jab. Needs to up the output, get on the inside and land some power punches. Lozano’s there for the taking. It’s time for Teixeira to capitalize on the chance he’s being given.9:29 p.m.: Kicking off the main card of Munguia vs. Hogan, Patrick Teixeira faces Mario Lozano in junior middleweight action. Since he got blasted out by Curtis Stevens in May 2016, Teixeira’s (29-1, 22 KOs) won three in a row. Lozano (33-8, 24 KOs) lost four consecutive fights to the likes of Jermall Charlo and Vanes Martirosyan, but has bounced back to reel off four straight wins. Lozano is a good gauge to see if Teixeira is a contender or a pretender. 9:21 p.m: Arely Mucino def. Yairneth Altive by unanimous decision (98-90, 98-90, 97-91) to retain the WBO women’s flyweight championship. Fun action fight. Don’t know why Altive had her corner pick her up like she won when she was outworked by Mucino. It’s shame women’s fights aren’t three minutes. Can someone get on top of that and make it happen? There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be the case. There would be more knockouts and the chance for exciting bouts if that were to occur.