Exercising Your Right to Vote

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The debates are over and the countdown is running down to Election Day. And if you are like me, you can’t wait for it to be over. Between the negative ads and the Facebook bantering among “friends”, I’ve had enough. Enough hearing about how each candidate is worse than another and enough statistics that, without some deep fact-checking, I have no idea if are correct. But it will be over soon and as Americans, we all have a very important job to do beforehand…VOTE.

Voting for our government officials is one of the most important rights that each and every citizen needs to exercise. Voting rights have been something that many people have had to fight long and hard to obtain, so it is not something that should be taken lightly or ignored all together. Our government officials speak for us, make laws that effect our every day lives, and are the face of this country so it is incredibly important for citizens to voice their opinion on who should be holding those responsibilities.

It’s easy to think that one vote won’t make any difference, among so many other voters, so why bother, but in reality it does make a difference. If every person who was undecided or thought his or her vote wouldn’t make a difference chose not to vote, it would add up and make a large impact in an election. One vote – your vote – counts.

It is overwhelming to sort through the information that is presented about each candidate. Television ads attempt to portray candidates in negative ways, sometimes without really saying what each candidate actually stands for. Statistics and quotes are twisted to the point that it’s hard to know what the real issue is. It gets to the point each election season that I turn the TV off and do my best to ignore all ads. I want to find out for myself who each candidate is and what he or she stands for, from the presidential candidates all the way down to my local officials.

With the availability of the Internet, information is available to research candidates and their records on what they stand for. But with the Internet, you also have to be careful to ensure that the websites are presenting factual information as well. There are credible websites, many maintained by the government, that tracks and records how government officials vote while in office as well as what candidates believe and stand for. With a little effort, factual information about candidates for government offices can be found in order to help guide a voter’s decision on who they will vote for. Don’t rely on the media to provide information as to which candidates to vote for, take a little time and find out what the candidates truly believe and stand for.

Voting is important. Your vote counts and your opinion matters. Don’t leave the decision of who will lead this country to others, speak up and vote!


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