Why You Should Exercise Your Right to Vote

This midterm election day, Tuesday, November 6th, will be my third time voting in a major election. The first time I voted was in the presidential election back in 2016. The second time I voted was in person at my local polling station in Rockford, Illinois. To me, voting is an exciting opportunity to be a part of something. When I vote, I feel like a valuable part of my affiliated political party, community, city, state, and country.

For many people, voting might not be as important to them due to a lack of interest in politics or having negative feelings towards our government. If you feel this way, my biggest advice is to step outside your comfort zone and be the change you wish to see. You don't have to be a person who lives and breathes politics to want to see change in your community. Even if you feel as though you don't know enough about politics to vote, I encourage you to at least get to know the candidates and their goals. This information alone could help you decide who will meet your needs the most. If you have no interest in voting because of negative feelings towards our government, I advise you to use this opportunity to elect the leadership you think we need! If you're still not convinced, here are three other reasons why you should to vote.

1. Voting is our right and responsibility

Did you know that 46.9% of eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 election? This midterm election is important because it is the first major one since President Trump’s election. During midterms, we vote for members of Congress including our state’s senators and representatives. Midterm elections are considered as important as the presidential election, because these are the people who will make our future laws. In fact, Congress is the only branch in our government that is directly elected by the people.

We need to vote so we can have the representation we want to make decisions about our health care, reproductive rights, civil rights, school loans and so many more issues. These state legislators will also be making decisions on smaller issues that impact our everyday lives like taxes, road conditions and our public school systems. We become eligible to vote at 18 years old for a reason. By entering adulthood, these issues might become more important to our own or loved one's lives if they didn't as much before. We can’t take this right to have a voice for granted!

2. More candidates running represent America as a whole

More women representatives are running than ever before! For governor, there are 13 women nominees, 22 for the Senate and 198 for the House! This 2018 election is bringing in the most diverse group of candidates in U.S. political history. This not only includes gender, but also racial, religious and sexual orientation diversity.

3. The deadlines are late!

You can always register and vote on election day, Tuesday, November 6th. So, set aside time in your schedule that day to go out and vote!

There are so many ways to get involved in politics in your community and voting is the perfect place to start. Our country chose to have a democracy structure for our government for a reason. In a democracy, power is exercised through the people, so we should appreciate this advantage. Make sure to remind your friends and family to go out and vote or even better, take them to the polls with you.

As a U.S. citizen it is important to exercise your constitutional right to vote. Hopefully these three reasons made you more inclined to get out there and do just that! 

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