Why everyone should care about voting

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“I’m just one person, what’s the point?”

It’s the age-old excuse to not vote. But this idea of “my one vote doesn’t matter” is a toxin to government in itself.

We live in a country that, while it may have its faults, allows its citizens a voice in who runs their government.

Businessman George Nathan once said, “bad people are elected by good people who don’t vote” meaning that by sitting at home and watching the elections and complaining about who’s leading and neglecting to vote is just as bad as voting for that person yourself. Silence is letting the leading candidate win.

I know you’ve heard this a million times, too: If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about who wins.

And maybe you won’t complain. Maybe you care so little about politics, whoever is in charge would be fine with you.

But don’t think it won’t affect you.

Believe it or not, these people are running the country and they will make changes affecting your life.

They can raise your taxes or lower your debt, fund your education or fund the militarily, and it’s up to you to decide which direction you favor.

This doesn’t strictly apply to the federal government; this goes for local offices, too.

Surprisingly, some people think that local elections are less important than federal. They could not be more wrong. If anything, local elections matter more.

The local government is in charge of your sewage, your fire, your police. They’re more so involved with education funding and can cut budgets on whatever they may please. Local government officials make the most important decisions regarding you and your fellow citizens’ lives and should have the most attention during elections.

But by all means let everyone else figure out who gets to take charge.

Of course, if everyone else votes, one person couldn’t possibly make a difference, right?

Well, actually that’s wrong.

Mountlake Terrace City Council member Laura Sonmore, a Terrace graduate, recited a number of cases in council history in which two candidates had been within just a couple votes of each other. Recounts had to be called because the numbers were so close. So, it is important to vote, especially in local elections, because it could mean you have who you want running your community – or your country.

So vote. Vote because you can. Vote because it’s your right. Vote because it can change things, even if you still believe it doesn’t. Vote because it keeps your First Amendment alive. Vote because it’s easy. Vote because, that way, even if who you voted for lost, you can still say “I voted for him or her.”

Vote.

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