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Get out of your office and vote!

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 Posted in Culture Corner

Get out of your office and vote!

According to the New York Times, the 2014 elections had the “worst voter turnout in 72 years.”  They went on to say “the national turnout was 36.3 percent; only the 1942 federal election had a lower participation rate at 33.9 percent.”

Did YOU vote last year?

What does it matter, you ask? “There are millions of people in this country, and I’m just one vote.”

You’re not alone in your thinking. Statistics indicate that many people are not being represented equally, simply because those groups are not turning up at the voting polls. Voters over 65 and those who make over $150,000 make up the highest percentage, which means that many race, age, and income groups may not be fairly represented, and policies that may directly affect these groups could be ignored.

It’s important to be informed.

In the old days, not an election went by without hearing from the political candidates on radio or television. Now, more often than not, potential voters are online instead—whether on their phones or social media—and can more easily pick and choose what information they see. More and more we’re ‘cutting the cable’ and tuning out not just the TV shows we aren’t interested in, but the entire electoral process as well.

Ironically, the Internet can provide voters with more information than ever before.

You can receive up-to-the-minute news about candidates and policies. You can choose your medium—if you don't feel like reading, you can listen to a podcast or watch a video. Subscribe to newsletters, share tweets, participate in online forums; the means are available for you to be more politically informed now than ever before.

If you (or your kids, family members, friends, employees, neighbors, etc.) are among the individuals who didn't vote last year, bookmark some of these helpful sites (in a folder marked VOTE so you can find it!):

  • Curious about your state's laws on voting rights? Can your employer stop you from voting? Get that information at workplacefairness.org.
  • At mytimetovote.com you will find information about upcoming election dates in your area.
  • Another helpful site, the Fair Elections Network, has information on how you can be more involved in the voting process.
  • Register to vote here.
  • Don’t know about the candidates? Check out this article on how to decide which candidate to vote for.
  • Have questions about early or absentee voting? You can find the answers at vote411.org, as well as how to create an info sheet on candidates and issues to take with you to the polls.
  • Enter a politician's name or your zip code on votesmart.org and access information about his/her biography, positions on issues, and other facts and figures.

Remember, a government of the people, for the people, and by the people only works if all the eligible people vote.

Spread the word, and get to the polls this year, and every year!

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