Civic duty

I’ve voted in every election since I was 18 except for one.

In college I voted absentee ballot and had a subscription to the national edition of the Washington Post in order to keep abreast of issues that might be pertinent to that year’s campaigns and help me to make an educated decision. Keep in mind this was pre-internet/pre-24 hour news cycle. My college roommate was my witness each year and signed my paper ballot which I happily mailed back to my state board of elections. I recall her finding it odd that I was voting in non-presidential election years, to which I replied, there are elections every year, most people just don’t care/think about them. Oddly these are the elections that have a much more direct and immediate impact on our day to day lives.

I have long been of the opinion that voting is not only a right but a priveledge. As a tax paying female citizen of the United States, it is my duty on the first Tuesday of November to get to my polling place and cast my ballot or make arrangements to do so in advance of election day if I am unable to make it to the polls (which is what I did last year when I was pregnant). People fought for my right to vote. I vote to honor them, I vote to speak my mind, or choose who gets to speak for me, I vote to make sure my opinion counts in matters of local and national government.

I do not, however, go into the voting booth blindly clicking checkboxes next to the candidate whose name I like best or who had the best commercial or sign. It takes so little time to do some basic reading on where each candidate stands on various issues and glance over and try to comprehend the amendments or bond referendums or propositions that may be up for consideration in any given year. A little education on the subject goes a long way in making a decision as opposed to a guess.

So, on this November 2nd, get out and exercise your right to choose. Red/Blue/Purple/Green…get to your polling place and cast your ballots. Your vote does count, just make sure you know what you’re really voting for.

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