Make your vote count this November

Don’t vote solely for the sake of voting; research candidates

This Super Tuesday brought a record number of voters to caucus locations across Minnesota on March 1. With such an important political election season upon us, the words “you should vote” will be something on the lips of many U.S. citizens as Nov. 8 edges ever so closer.

Voting is always something people are telling us to do, especially the younger generations filled with first and second-time voters. They urge us to get to the ballot box and cast our vote as our “civic duty.”
It sounds so serious. Civic duty? I can barely balance school and homework and you want me to worry about my civic duty?

Well, the answer to that is yes with one stipulation: know whom you are voting for.

Voting is a big deal. It is not something that should be taken lightly. When you cast your vote, you are throwing your support toward an individual that will lead this country for four years, not just someone you see on television and the internet from time to time.

With that being said, casting a vote should not be done simply for the sake of participation. This election year, I challenge each young voter to research the candidates. Get to know policies and what they truly stand for.

All-too-often I see voters voting for the sake of voting. They vote to mimic their parents. They vote based on rumors from media outlets that rarely cast candidates in their true light. They vote because it is their “civic duty.”

This election year, let’s move beyond the notion of voting as the baseline standard for fulfilling our rights as eligible-voting Americans. Let’s get to a point where voters approaching the ballot box actually know the policies of the candidate they are about to vote for. Let’s research our candidates and know where they want to lead America these next four years.

So this November, do your civic duty and research your candidates before you vote. It could determine your next four years.

Photo: “Voting” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by justgrimes

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