In the United States voting is a right, a privilege and a responsibility. Citizens fought long and hard to be able to vote, yet a disturbing number of people don't bother to cast ballots on election day. There are many reasons why you should vote. Here are the top ten.
Number one. Your vote matters. Many people justify their apathy by saying their vote does not matter. There have been many elections decided by a single vote. There are some cases when a vote was tied and the winner was decided by a coin flip. Do you really want your leaders decided by the flip of a coin? Vote so you are one picking your leaders.
Number two. Vote to defend your personal social agenda. Politicians make laws that protect or restrict social freedoms. This includes controversial issues like capital punishment, gay rights, civil rights and prayer in school. Chief executives like governors and presidents appoint judges and justices. They rule on court cases involving social freedoms. When a new Supreme Court Justice is appointed, he or she is appointed for life. A president may only be in office for a few years, but their Supreme Court selection will be there for a generation influencing the social direction of America.
Number three. Vote to protect your your body. A woman's ability to get an abortion in the United States is the result of a slim majority on the Supreme Court. That could easily change if pro life leaders get enough power. Comprehensive health insurance is a major issue for everyone. Our leaders will decide who will get health insurance and how much taxpayers will pay to provide it. The issue impacts your health, your pocketbook or both. Vote so you can have a say in what happens.
Number four. Vote to secure your safety. We live in troubled times. Terrorists and criminals threaten to harm you and your family. Different leaders have different opinions on how to protect us. At the same time, some people think police and military forces have too much power. Choose leaders who you feel will protect your life and civil rights.
Number five. Vote to save the world. Global warming and environmental issues impact us all. These concerns must be balanced with economic factors and our energy needs. Lobbying efforts are strong on all sides of the environmental issue. Stand up for what you believe by voting.
Number six. Vote to keep your money. The primary thing the government does is collect taxes. They take a significant chunk out of every paycheck and from profits on your investments to provide critical services such as police and roads. Politicians we elect decide what taxes you will pay. Bond issues and propositions decide whether you pay more property tax or sales tax for specific projects. You may feel that some are worthy of your tax dollars while others are not.
Number seven. Vote for those who fought for your right to vote. There was a time in this country when women, minorities and adults younger than 21 could not. Many people worked hard and sacrificed so you have that right. It is your duty to exercise it.
Number eight. Vote for those who died for your freedom. Soldiers and civil rights workers have given their lives for your right to vote. Soldiers continue to fight and die in wars. Your vote decides who the leaders are who make the decision to go to war.
Number nine. Vote for the next generation. Decisions we make today impact our children, grandchildren and all generations that follow. Make choices that will improve their lives by voting. It also sets a good example and encourages civil responsibility.
Number ten. Vote or lose your right to complain. If you don't bother to cast a ballot you can't whine about problems with the world. It doesn't matter whether your vote ends up going for the winner or loser. A society must cast ballots for decisions to be made. Together we decide our future. Be part of that future by voting.
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