I turned 18 in 1981 and voted in my first election that fall. Since then, there are very few elections I’ve missed. I remember skipping a primary once because in my district, all the candidates were running un-opposed. And I remember missing one general election because I was traveling and didn’t realize I wouldn’t be home in time to get an absentee ballot – that was in the years before early in-person voting. But I am a firm believer that as a citizen, it is my responsibility to vote. And more than just vote – to be an informed voter.
If you don’t vote, two things happen. First, you get the government you deserve. If you’re disengaged and don’t hold your elected officials accountable, you shouldn’t be surprised that your government doesn’t prioritize policies that benefit the majority of our fellow citizens. Second, if you don’t vote, you lose your right to complain about your elected officials. End of story – you can’t sit on the sidelines and expect your complaints to carry weight. Either you’re a part of our democracy or you aren’t. Too many people have fought and died for our right to vote. Tomorrow is Election Day so participate. Go vote.
Need some help finding out what’s on the ballot or even where your polling place is located? Check out your state’s State Board of Elections website or one of these resources: