Why You Should vote

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 4th Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1vsjrm5r/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Politics

Nov. 5 is Election Day across the United States. Yet, millions of people will stay home. Find out why it's important to vote in every election.

Make Your Voice Heard


This year's Election Day on Nov. 5 is expected to be a quiet one. Unlike last year, there is no big race such as the one for president of the United States. This is what's known as an "off year election" - one in which there aren't many big races to draw people to the polls. That's too bad because democracy shouldn't be a spectator sport but rather an active one in which people participate.
A few states will be electing governors while the nation's largest city, New York City, will elect a new mayor. However, races in most areas, including my own city, will feature less prestigious races such as the mayor's office.
People often forget that they are closer to these small, local elections than they are to national contests. Few people will meet the president of the United States but many people will bump into the mayor at the supermarket, a local restaurant or on the street. I ran into one of our mayoral candidates a few weeks ago when I was running an errand downtown. He was outside chatting with a local merchant on the sidewalk. We talked about issues such as adding more police to our city, holding the line on taxes and improving snow removal.
These local issues are important to the folks who live there and affect their daily lives. Whoever wins our city's mayoral race will decide how many police should patrol our city, how many roads will be repaved next year and how much our tax bills will be. Voting for the mayor gives you a voice in how the city is run.

Learn the Issues


People often say they don't vote because they don't follow the issues. There's no excuse for not knowing the issues in today's technological world. Every candidate has a Web site, and many of them have Facebook pages now. Just click on the Web sites and/or Facebook pages, scroll down and learn what the candidates stand for.
A simple Google search can help you find information about the candidates. Even if you don't know their names, you can just type in the name of your city and the words: mayoral candidate.
Don't forget your local media. The local newspaper will probably profile all the candidates before Election Day. Both the newspaper and local television stations will cover debates, candidate press conferences and news stories about the campaign. Many newspapers and television stations archive their stories on the Web so you can go back later and review coverage you may have missed.
You can also check your local Board of Elections Web sites and the League of Women Voters. These are useful sites for any voter seeking information.

Don't Be Apathetic


Many people say they don't have time for politics or for voting. But voting doesn't take much time at all unless there's a really heavy turnout. Most voting places are located within walking distance of your home. Polls open early and stay open late. Here in New York state, you can vote as early as 6 a.m. or as late as 9 p.m.
Other people say their vote just doesn't matter so why bother. But their vote does matter. Every vote counts.
I've seen so many elections in which there was no clear cut winner on Election Night because it was too close to call. The race was decided a week later when absentee ballots were opened and counted. In every case, somebody stayed home because they figured their vote didn't matter. They were wrong.
Let's not forget the soldiers in countless wars throughout our nation's history who fought and died so that people like you and me could enjoy basic freedoms like the right to vote. When people don't bother to vote, they unwittingly disrespect these brave patriots who we owe so much to.
So go out and cast your vote on Election Day. Make your voice heard and take some responsibility for the way your city or town is run. Then, you'll be able to chat with the mayor on the issues the next time you run into him downtown.

Here is a link to the League of Women Voters site. Just click on your state and find your local chapter where you can get information on who's running in your area. League

Attribution:
The photos came from Morguefile.

Tags

Vote, Voter, Votes, Voting, Voting Patterns

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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Comments

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
4th Nov 2013 (#)

Dont complain if you dont vote! I do always vote either as absentee or go to the polls, Its the American way and Democratic as well, well pu my dear Connie, you rock!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Nov 2013 (#)

Great piece Connie...the interesting thing is that why people complain when they put those they complain about in power...makes you wonder dont it!!!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Nov 2013 (#)

Great piece Connie...the interesting thing is that why people complain when they put those they complain about in power...makes you wonder dont it!!!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Nov 2013 (#)

Great piece Connie...the interesting thing is that why people complain when they put those they complain about in power...makes you wonder dont it!!!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Nov 2013 (#)

Great piece Connie...the interesting thing is that why people complain when they put those they complain about in power...makes you wonder dont it!!!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Nov 2013 (#)

sorry about the duplication...

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author avatar Connie McKinney
5th Nov 2013 (#)

Good points, Fern. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
5th Nov 2013 (#)

Yes, Carolina, I agree with you. Why do they complain? Go figure.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
5th Nov 2013 (#)

I believe that people don't vote either through laziness or indifference , but they soon start complaining when they don't get what they want or the person they prefer in power ....I can understand it when people can be killed for putting their cross against the name of a Dictator .....that takes great courage to do so ...maybe that is an element lacking in today's society .
God bless you Connie .
Stella ><

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author avatar Connie McKinney
5th Nov 2013 (#)

Excellent points, Stella. I think you are correct.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
6th Nov 2013 (#)

In our district, we didn't have anything to vote on. I thought it was interesting that it was election day and I had no issue or candidate to support. Kind of odd...

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author avatar Connie McKinney
6th Nov 2013 (#)

Phyl, I guess if there's nothing to vote on, then there's no reason to vote. It does seem odd. I agree.

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author avatar Carol
6th Nov 2013 (#)

Great advice and wisa words, thankyou Connie

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author avatar Connie McKinney
6th Nov 2013 (#)

Thanks, Carol.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
7th Nov 2013 (#)

Thought provoking and well stated, Connie. When I was in India I used to vote selecting the best from the worst at times! But they proved equally bad or worse later. Now I find the younger generation complaining ceaselessly about politicians from the sidelines without even bothering to vote, especially the well educated. In democratic countries one has to involve not merely through voting - freedom has to be cherished than make politics hierarchical by default. But they feel it is a cesspool with the result politicians do not retire and even die in office mostly! Sadly freedom seems to have lost its shine, taken for granted, in most nascent democracies - siva

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author avatar Connie McKinney
7th Nov 2013 (#)

Siva, so well said as usual. You are so right that freedom is taken for granted. It's sad.

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