Why you should vote anyway

Monday, November 5, 2012

First, I'll concede to certain facts about our political system, then you can listen to my petition.

1. The American political system is not great- but it is safe. The two party system leaves a bit to be desired, in my opinion. We go with words like "liberal" and "conservative"- but the Democrats aren't that liberal and the Republicans aren't that conservative. The two parties are closer in ideals than they'd like to present. But the fact of the matter is that it's very hard for ultra conservatives or liberals to get very far. Great screw-ups are harder to come by, and whether you're red or blue, you can agree that we're not perfect, but our political climate is safe.

2. Your vote won't count. Gosh, this is the one I hear allllll the bloody time. I live in a red state so my vote won't count anyway. I live in a blue state so it has to be that way. Well, yes and no. I live in South Carolina, so I'm far from knowing what the excitement and thrill of living in a swing state is like, nor do I know what it's like to live around liberal people. SC has voted Republican in every election since 1964 (except 1976 when it went rogue for Jimmy Carter).

Here's why you should vote anyway.

1. Because the presidential election isn't the only thing that you vote on!!

I know!! Craziness!!

Believe it or not, we have elections every year. Also, there are other people responsible for making decisions in our country- the House and the Senate. (Okay, I know, too much sarcasm. Sorry.) Your state and county governments are also pushing issues as well. In addition to several positions, I'm also voting on School Board spending and an issue in the State constitution. I think you should believe in the power of your vote. If people did, we could be a country of swing states- and that would make election night even more fun.

2. Because people died for this right. It's a right. A privilege that many people in the world do not have. Even in our own country, women and minorities had to fight for years to have a say in elections. In many areas of our government, they have had a harder time getting into office. It's something our military members have fought to protect as well. I was hoping this section would be filled with something moving and articulate, but all I can think to say is that people have given their lives to give this to you. To protect their country, to protect your freedoms. I hope that moves you.

{And it may sound silly to some of you, but I think it would be great to see a woman become the president. In fact, I think it's silly that it hasn't happened already. America is so far behind on this one...}

3. America is not a democracy. We are a Republic. Our power as the people is firm. It is our duty to try to elect sound leaders to make decisions for our country. It is our duty to vote directly on the things we are able to vote on directly as well. Our country allows so many opportunities to vote. It's overwhelming and often too much for people to handle. But it's so important! If you're over 18, you're not in prison or convicted of a felony, plus a few other things, you can vote.

4. An extremely firm opinion of mine- if you are legally able to vote, and you do not, you have no say about anything you could have had the power to change. Sorry, but if you could have voted, but you choose not to, you shouldn't have the right to complain. At least not to me. I don't care if your candidates won or lost- if you voted, you participated in the democratic process.

5. You get a sticker. Stickers are cool.

Just remember...

To vote wisely. I am not advocating willy-nilly arbitrary voting. Do your homework. Google your state and county and "ballot 2012" and you can usually pull up a website that shows the ballot, candidates, and issues you'll be voting on tomorrow.

There are rules. Every county and state has guidelines to make sure everyone can vote. You normally have a precinct and specific voting location. However, the State mandates the rules. In South Carolina, you have to be registered 30 days before the election. You have to bring your voter's registration card with you, and your ID. But in North Dakota (according to Wikipedia), you don't have to be registered (the only state). Please don't harass the poll workers. I was one for several years. Don't be mean to them. Follow the rules.

So go out. Grab a book and stand in line.

Rock the vote.

Rock your vote.

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