To all of my readers in the US – please go and vote today. It does not matter if your only local elections are for dog catcher and coroner. Our votes always matter. I believe that local elections are what truly matters anyway… change (or lack of it) starts in town councils, school board elections, county elections, state, and so forth. As Americans we tend to get all fired up in the two years prior to a presidential election and apathetic (or smug) during the other two years.
Think of voting as an exercise. The more you do it, the more likely you are to do it. Think your vote does not count? Think again, it does.
Not sure of the issues? Check independent resources such as The League of Women Voters is a good one. You can find your local league easily to learn about local issues. Follow the candidates; if they are already in office, check their voting records and positions. And whatever you do, whatever your partisan preference is, don’t use cable television as a way of feeling too informed. I don’t care if you watch Fox News or MSNBC, they each have their own agenda. Watch it, but press into more independent resources to learn. Newspapers such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post are good examples. I’m not going to link to all these sources, you know how to find them.
I think that we can all agree that Facebook and Twitter have their limitations in the matter of influencing elections… enough about that.
Many of us are overburdened, overextended, stretched to our limits. A lot of people count on that to make sure we do not raise our voices and our power as voters in a democracy. When I get home tonight and realize that I forgot to vote I might think, “no way am going out again, I’m too tired!” And then I remember that there are people who walk for days in other parts of the world, just to cast one ballot. Or that people have died risking their lives to make democracy real in other places. And that people have died to for THIS democracy. How does one not get up and go vote after that?
So please – go vote today. And if you are not registered, tomorrow would be a good time to go and get registered. It is a privilege, let us not waste it. Our future depends upon it. Especially in off years like this one.