The 2018 mid-term election in the United States takes place 58 days from today and it may be the most important election of our – the people who hang out at this blog – long, long lives.
Now I know perfectly well that no one here would skip voting. Right? But just in case you know someone who doesn't vote or who thinks is it not important or doesn't believe their vote could make a difference, let's talk about that today.
Let's start with the fact that voting is a fundamental right of all citizens in a democracy. We have the privilege (that many in the world do not) to select our leaders rather than having them imposed or inflicted upon us which gives us a moral duty to take part in that choice.
We cannot take the right to vote for granted. Don't forget that there was a time when only certain citizens – while male landowners – could vote. Changing that took a long time. Here is a reminder of how that went:
There are still too many impediments to voting and right now the majority of legislators trying to change voting laws are the ones who would further restrict the right to vote.
In addition to the high-minded, patriotic reasons to vote, there is the real chance that if too many voters of one persuasion or another stay home from the polls, we are stuck with a leader or leaders who do not reflect the views of the entire electorate, and there is no telling where that takes us.
Elected representatives have the power to affect vital issues of everyday life: taxes, roads and highways, food, health care, education, public safety, air quality, even fair elections, to name only a few. Certainly, you want your voice heard for the people who make those choices.
Don't forget the importance of local candidates in your state, county or town. The voices of the full spectrum of citizens need to be heard to produce a more balanced local government rather than the views of just one faction who turned up at the polls in larger numbers.
And one more thing: you cannot complain, not one word, about what elected leaders are doing if you don't vote.
Here are some more thought on the question, Why Should I Vote:
We have 58 days until election day on 6 November. Here are some things you should do before then:
• Make sure you are registered to vote
• Mark your calendar so you don't make other plans on 6 November that would keep you from voting
• Check out voter ID requirements in your location and be sure to have the correct identification documents
• Make sure you know where your polling place is. You can do that at the Polling Place Locator
• Check out all the other preparations you might need to know at this well-done page titled, Voting in Person on Election Day, for additional voting information
Unless you live in Oregon or Washington, the two states that vote by mail, make arrangements to get to the polling place if you need to on election day. Or, offer to drive or accompany people who can't easily get there on their own.
If you happen to live in Oregon or Washington or other states that vote by mail, your ballots arrive two or three weeks before election day. Be sure to mark your ballot and mail it before the deadline. There are drop-off areas in your town or city too.
This may be the most crucial election of our lives. Please vote and get everyone you know to vote too. Our entire way of life may depend on it.