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| Why Voting is Important to Me »
Living in a swing state during this election cycle, the average number of political calls I’m receiving every day has climbed to about a half dozen. They include public opinion polls, recorded celebrities urging me to vote for their preferred candidate, requests for donations and more. I’ve gotten much better at screening them, but will be relieved when the deluge ends! Like many others around the country, I’ve grown weary of the drawn out election cycle, the increased partisanship, and the negative tenor of this campaign season—which seems worse in many ways than any I’ve ever experienced. These feelings make it easy to forget about the important implications of this, and every election, and of the privilege we have in this country to help shape our collective future through voting.
Years ago as a high school student, I had the opportunity to help our local supervisor of elections in the office on election night. I helped track the delivery of ballot boxes from around the precincts, and as each set of ballots was counted, I had the task of tallying the results on a large white board in a conference room designated for those running for local office and their supporters. Thirteen votes, twenty-two votes, seven votes from a precinct—in a local race in a rural county, every individual vote was critical.
During a national election where constant polling results and the sheer magnitude of votes being cast can be overwhelming, I think it is vital to remember the impact of these local and state races and ballot initiatives. These “down-ballot” races can often have a more direct impact on local education and workforce policy than anything that happens in Washington!
I recently heard that one of the candidates for school board in my old home town visited every single family in her district during her campaign—forging a personal relationship and educating herself about constituent concerns. Whether she wins or loses, that’s the image that sticks in my mind this election when I think about engagement in the political process and the importance of voting. Educate yourself about all of the important issues and candidates on the ballot this election season, not just those getting the most national attention, and don’t pass up your opportunity to vote!
ACTE is a nonpartisan organization that does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 11/01/2016 at 01:53 PM in Election Watch | Permalink
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