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Monday, October 27, 2008

Vote or Don't Complain

Here in Georgia, like may places nowadays, we are able to vote before the official date. I did that today. I think way too many people in our country take voting for granted, which is why the numbers are so low. And I'm not sure that I completely understand it. I've voted in every major election since I turned 18, and have found it even more important to do so as I get older (now *shudder* twenty years later).

Going along with yesterday's post, it's so important for everyone to be involved in this process. Like my parents taught me, if you don't vote, you don't have any right to complain. What I'm really worried about in this election is that many people will vote, but will do so for emotional reasons rather than looking at the issues. When I was preparing to vote, I got a copy of the ballot online, and looked at all of the races. I then went to the website of every candidate I could find and looked at their stances on various issues. Many places also have sites where you can compare candidates' answers to the same question, and I encourage you to find those out. My point is that I didn't just vote down a party line, and didn't just vote for or against the incumbent candidate. Whether or not you agree with my choices, I actually spent the time trying to learn what each candidate stood for, and whether or not I agreed with their stances. THAT is how you're supposed to vote. And that's why I voted for a mixture of incumbents and newcomers, and had three different parties represented on my ballot.

This is a historic election for numerous reasons. We might elect the first black president or the first female vice-president. We may give the presidency and both houses of Congress to a single party. Whatever choices we make will guide our country for years, if not decades. And those choices are OURS to make, not the politicians'. So make those choices wisely, folks. Take the time to go beyond the ads and sound bites and really delve into what the candidates want to do and HOW they want to do it. But above all, get out there and exercise your right to vote. Not everyone in the world gets that privilege.