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Legislative Getting Started

Remember to Vote

Voting is not only our right, but also our responsibility as citizens of the United States of America. The importance of voting cannot be understated.  U.S. citizens are asked to vote with more frequency than in other countries.  The entire structure of our government is based on citizens voting for representation, yet most presidential elections are decided by less than 70% of the eligible voting public. Even fewer people vote in off-presidential year elections and local elections. 

Each election is important! Besides the Presidential Election once every four years, there are special elections held in February, March, April and May on local issues and initiatives. In addition, the September primary and the November general elections are for voters to nominate and/or vote on their choice of candidates for the various positions in state, county, and city government. In others words, every election is very important, and every proposition when passed can have a direct impact on the life of a voter.

Many people think that their vote does not matter. There have been many, many elections – not just on a local level – that have been decided by less than 100 votes. So thinking that your vote does not count could not be farther from the truth.
If you are skeptical about whether your vote can make a difference, think about this: If indeed you care about motorcycle rights; if you care about education and jobs; if you care about the Supreme Court and individual rights; if you care about hate crimes, the military and foreign policy; if you care about health care and welfare reform, or paying down the national debt; if you care about global warming and protecting the environment, you owe it to yourself and your country to vote.

Maybe you feel that when it comes down to it, all the candidates are the same, so why bother voting. Even if this is how you truly feel, remember that the winning candidate may have an enormous impact on our children's future, not just for four years but for 40 years. How? Because the candidate elected could sponsor legislation that has a lasting effect.

Change starts at a grass roots level whether you live on a farm or in the inner city, and all change starts by electing people to implement change, whether it is a mayor or a president.

Remember, too, when you are unhappy with the condition of your town's roads or your state's tax rate, being involved, voting for and knowing your elected officials will enable you to voice your complaints to the appropriate representatives. You voted for them and they work for you.

Some other useless reasons for not voting are that the polls are too crowded, or you cannot get there on time. If you know you cannot get to the polls on time, request an absentee ballot. What could be easier than voting by mail? Many counties have implemented early voting.  Not be able to get to the polls is no longer a valid excuse not to vote.

Whether the excuse is apathy or laziness, voting has become a privilege that far many too Americans take for granted. The next time you neglect to vote, ask yourself how you would feel if you didn't have a choice – to elect a president, wear a helmet or choose a job, or decide how many children to have. There are many countries where a person does not have a choice, and I'm sure they would gladly change places with you for the fundamental right to vote.