Today is the first Tuesday of November, which means that it’s Election Day in the United States! Today is your opportunity as a citizen of the United States of America to let your voice be heard and have your say in choosing the local and national leaders that will lead our country and shape the rules by which we live. Today is one of, if not the most, important days in our country as a democratic nation. You should find your local voting station, go there, and exercise your right to vote by the end of the day!
It’s important to encourage others to vote because unfortunately, voter apathy is a common problem in the United States. For example, in 2008, the last time we had a presidential election, only 61.6% of the eligible voting population in this country actually voted, according to the United States Election Project, an information source for the US electoral system created at George Mason University. That means that nearly 120,000,000 American people neglected their right to vote!
We need to change this. We are privileged to live in a democratic nation where we have the right to free speech and the right to choose our leaders. The definition of a democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in determining the rules, decisions, and people that govern their lives. Therefore, if we don’t exercise our right to vote, we don’t accurately communicate how we want to live, rendering our government much less effective.
Fortunately, however, although 2008’s voter participation rate barely exceeded 60%, it was still the highest turnout rate for a presidential election since the United States lowered its eligible voting age to 18 in 1972. Since 1972, voter participation rate has generally increased. Let’s continue this trend!
Regardless of what people tell you, the most important thing today is not who you vote for, but the simple fact that you vote. For your knowledge, here are some of the many candidates running for president in this year’s election:
—Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party: A physician who has also run unsuccessfully for Massachusetts governor multiple times, Stein wants to strengthen environmental regulations on corporations, universalize health care, legalize marijuana, and ban free trade agreements, among other things.
—Mitt Romney, Republican Party: The former governor of Massachusetts, CEO of the Salt Lake City, Utah 2002 Olympic Games Organizing Committee, and a successful businessman. He wants to cut taxes, make the United States energy independent, and strengthen foreign relations with Israel.
—Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party: The former governor of New Mexico for eight years, Johnson wants to eliminate the corporate tax, expand free trade agreements, end the War on Drugs, and legalize marijuana, among other things. He is expected to get as much as 5% of the nation’s vote for president on Tuesday.
—Barack Obama, Democratic Party: The incumbent, Obama wants to raise taxes on wealthy businesses, guarantee Americans a right to health care, and make the United States energy independent.
—Vermin Supreme, Independent: An eligible write-in candidate for ballots in some states, Supreme is a non-traditional politician. He wears a boot on his head, wants to research time travel, promote zombie apocalypse awareness, and promises to award every American with a free pony if elected president.