Politics matter. You don’t have to love it. You don’t even have to like it. But it’s important to understand the effects of politics on your everyday life. By casting your vote, you can help shape a world that you want to live in.
This election is about a lot more than the presidency! Many districts are voting for new Congressional representatives, state representatives, judges, and more. Voting in these elections is just as important as participating in presidential elections, and in many cases will have a more direct impact on the way you live. Take some time to learn some of the effects of different types of elections. You can learn about every election being contested in your district as well as getting information about all of those candidates at www.vote411.org.
Reasons to vote
- Candidates won’t address student issues if you don’t show up to the polls. Speak up if you want to be heard!
- Historically, less than half of eligible young voters submit a ballot. That means half of the voice of our generation voices go unheard.
- Voting impacts your community. Casting your vote in both local and presidential elections is the most direct way to influence the area in which you live.
- You can’t complain about how things are if you don’t make an effort to change them! Even learning a little about political processes and political agendas can help you create an informed opinion to guide voting decisions.
- Political decisions made now will affect our lives for years to come. Our influence can help guide these decisions to shape a better world for ourselves and future generations.
- Voting is a gift. It wasn’t all that long ago that voting was reserved for the select few. Previous generations fought and suffered for the right to vote. Pick up where they left off and let your opinions be heard!
State and Local Responsibilities
Most of your daily interaction with the government is done on a state or local level. Schools, police departments and libraries are generally monitored by these governments. State governments assume any responsibilities not specifically reserved for the federal government. Individuals elected to these bodies have influence over state legislations such as state taxes and state budgets. More information on state and local governments can be found at www.whitehouse.gov.
After being elected to office, the president takes on a number of titles, each with their own list of responsibilities. These titles include Commander in Chief, Legislative Leader and Chief Diplomat, to name a few. The president has influence over lawmaking, wartime decisions, foreign policies/ affairs and preservation of the country.
Choosing someone to vote for can be challenging. It can be hard to avoid bias or misleading information. The Vote411 organization is a nonpartisan group dedicated to delivering unbiased candidate information for both national and local elections. Visit Vote411 here: http://www.vote411.org/ballot#.UFoDEFHh-Sp
Instructions for using Vote411:
Click “Enter my address” > Provide your current address > click “Show My Races” > select United States President for presidential candidate info.
Votesmart is another organization focused on providing nonpartisan info for potential voters. Either search for a specific candidate or click “Presidential” in the vote easy section for an interactive question and answer game to determine which candidate best aligns with your personal views. Visit Votesmart at: http://votesmart.org.