‘Tis the season for pumpkin spice, holiday music and recorded calls from politicians.
Tuesday marked a very important date for the entire calendar year. It was time to get out to the polls and vote.
As someone from a small town, this meant I made a short drive home and spent time talking to the three ladies that have been working the polls since I can remember. They used to let me play in the corner as my parents went behind this magical curtain to pull some levers.
I was always so envious of my sister when she got to vote in her first presidential election.
Two years ago, I was finally able to do the same.
And even if it was a very dramatic race with an even more dramatic ending to the result, I felt a sense of pride for being able to at least participate.
My junior year of high school, I took a class that focused on the government of our country. We dove into the Constitution, the number of seats in the House and landmark events that shaped our country.
The biggest takeaway that my teacher pushed into my mind was two-fold: it is your right as an American citizen to vote each and every chance you have and it is your responsibility to participate in jury duty (along with pay taxes).
There are a multitude of things that need to be changed within our nation, but it is through the power of a vote that we can have our voices heard.
I have heard over and over that our votes do not matter because it is all skewed anyways.
But, are you really going to let some cynicism prevent you from participating in an act that millions around the world are unable to?
As a young female, I feel pride putting my input in for the generations of women who were silenced.
As a future health care worker, I feel pride that I can vote for those who will enable me to provide the best care possible.
It might be overwhelming to see all of the names and the different topics, but the key is to find one stance that you really want to focus on and vote in that direction.
Hopefully you shared your voice and took the opportunity to vote. This incluces elections at school, your local township and for your state. It is the smaller elections that actually determine the impact on day-to-day living.
For future elections, do not be afraid to ask questions and do your research. I have found that I spend a few hours each election taking quizzes and researching the backgrounds of candidates.
But above all else, this is your voice. Do not let your family or friends convince you to go in one direction or another.
My parents have a pact that they do not share with each other who they vote for in order to prevent arguments and to respect each other’s right. So, in the future do your research, reflect on your choices and head to the polls.
As my dad always said growing up, you have no right to complain if you never placed your opinion to begin with.