Remember, Remember, the First Tuesday in November
So it's a pretty big day here in the United States.
I went to the polls. Nothing thrills me more than to see a huge line of people waiting to cast their ballots. Does it suck to wait? Maybe. Is it awesome to see so many people getting involved? Definitely.
As far back as I can remember, my mom took me to the polls with her. We would huddle around the ballot together while she explained to me every vote she cast and why. Then she would ask me what I thought about the issue and if I felt the same way she did. I was 5, and i still remember her taking me and involving me in the political experience which seemed so exciting even then.
Voting is a right, one that a lot of people have fought a lot of battles to give to EVERY citizen of this country. All the rigamarole around the election? Excessive. The amount of misinformation being batted around in the campaigns? Despicable. The political posts by every person with a facebook account? A bit trying. With all that said, there's only one political stance that I absolutely cannot abide:
"I'm not voting. It doesn't matter. One vote won't make a difference."
I have the questionable boasting point of being able to say that I live in a swing state. Florida frequently swings in political directions that I find abhorrent, so I can say that I truly know the disappointment of having voted and not feeling like my voice was heard. I've seen "marriage protection" amendments get passed and Rick Scott elected governor; I KNOW disappointment. However, I have every right to voice that disappointment, because I did everything in my power to stop it.
From the moment I came of legal voting age, I've heard my peers give a million excuses for not voting. My personal favorite, that "both candidates suck," is the one that is truly disappointing. Politicians are politicians, and 2-party systems are limiting to a lesser-of-two-evils for most of us, but the election of officials is just the tip of the voting iceberg. Some of the most shady political practices are being pushed through in our amendment voting. Did you know Florida has an amendment on the bill that allows religious institutions to get taxpayer dollars? And that this amendment is being touted as the "Religious Freedom" amendment?? I audibly "Ugh"d in my voting booth when I read it again today. I voted No, because I firmly believe in the separation of church and state. How many of my peers, who feel so strongly the same way, will let this amendment get passed just because they cared so little for our presidential candidates that they didn't go to the polls?
Regardless of your political views, you owe it to yourselves and the future of this country to get informed about what is on your local ballot and have your voice heard. Willful ignorance is an epidemic in this country, don't be a part of it.