Election Day Special: How to Make your Vote Count

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

For all of my readers in the US, today is election day.  However, it is not just a normal election day – it’s Presidential election day.  And while I don’t really talk politics much on the blog, I think going out and voting and expressing your opinions is super important.  Now, don’t worry, this is not going to be a post on how I think YOU should vote.  However, what it is is this – an encouragement that you go out and vote!  No matter who you vote for, what you believe in or how you feel about our nation, we are fortunate enough to live in a democracy where our opinion actually matters.

So, how can you make your vote count?  Well, the first way to do this is pretty easy!

Actually go out and vote.

I will admit that there have been times over the years that I have fallen into the trap of thinking that I’m too busy to go vote.  Or I don’t want to get the kids dressed and drag them out to the poles.  After all, I’m just one little person so why does it really matter?  Well, it does!  Because each of you out there who feel like you are just one little person can add up to make a heck of a difference!  So head to your nearest poll today and let your voice be heard!

The second way to make your vote count takes little more time.

Research the Candidates and Choose Wisely

We pretty much all know the presidential candidates opinions by this point and know who our own views allign with.  However, there are tons of local and state elections that impact you as well.  I used to think that it was OK to just go in and vote a straight Republican or Democratic ticket.  However, after more research I discovered that some of the candidates views do not line up with mine even if their political affiliations do.  Your state should have an online voter guide that provides information on all the candidates in your state.  So google the 2012 {Your State Here} Voter Guide.  This will give you a quick run down on the candidates and their views so that you can make the most informed decisions possible.

Another way to make your vote count is a littler more personal.

Decide what issues are important to you.

If you only choose to vote for certain positions, make sure they are the positions that effect the areas that are important to you.  If your children are in the public school system, it may be important for you to vote for the Board of Education candidates that best match up with your views for your children.  Or if you are a small business owner, you’ll want to make sure that your state representatives and governor have small businesses in mind.  I’m not saying that you should just ignore all the other issues but it’s OK (and even normal) to put a little more effort into researching the candidates that will directly effect you.

Finally, here’s a tip that will effect your children more than you.

Be willing to Support Your Elected Officials Even if they were not Your Choice.

Things can get pretty heated this time of year when it comes to politics.  If you have children, remember that they will mirror your actions.  If you do not support those in leadership positions, neither will they.  This is not to say that you have to make it all sunshine and roses but if your candidate does not win, be sure to point out to your {especially older} children how we must support our leaders and the work that they do for our country.  And then reinforce in them how lucky we are to live in a country where we can actually play a role in making leadership choices and changing them in years to come.

No matter how you decide to vote today, keep things civil, stand up for what you believe in and make your voice heard at the polls.  It is not only your right but also your responsibility to choose the leaders of our nation and to do so in a responsible manner.  So, if you haven’t already, head out to the polls, make your vote count and have your say in your future.  And the future of your children.  Because that is what voting is – helping decide the future of YOUR country!

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