November 4, 2014 is Election Day in the United States. We’re not talking about the presidency, but we are talking about Congress and plenty of local elections. All of those, some would say are just as important if not more so than the presidential election. Here are some reasons why you should head to the polls.
1. Your Vote Will Count
Contrary to popular belief, your vote will count this time around. There are a number of extremely close races. Some of the races even require 50 percent of the vote in order to declare a winner on November 4. Check out the details for your state’s election system because you may have a chance to vote again if the race can’t be called on the 4th.
2. It’s Easy
Every election, we hear stories about the lines being around the block. Even during presidential elections, that is mostly hype because the polls stay open for the majority of the day. Check the times that your voting location is open and find a time that works for you. Odds are, it will be a painless experience.
3. A Vote For Any Losing Candidate Still Counts
If you’re planning on opting out of voting, think again. A vote for anything is a vote for the democratic system. Third party candidates qualify for more benefits in the next election if they receive a certain percentage of the vote. Inform yourself and don’t just predict the winner. Vote Republican, Democrat, or anything else because how we vote determines the makeup of future campaigns and elections – not just who holds office next.
4. Issues Are On The Ballot Too – Not Just People
Yes, we are electing our representatives for the 114th Congress along with numerous local officials, but we are also voting on a number of state and local issues. Check out what your state is voting on and cast a vote on the issue. Depending on what the issues are, that part of November 4th might matter more to you than electing a representative. Don’t forget about extra stuff on the ballot.
5. Vote Now, Because Congress Will Be Voting On Issues That Matter
Are you in college? Or, did you go to college and now owe student loans payments? If so, the student loan debt crisis is just one issue that Congress is planning to discuss next year. The list is endless – immigration, the environment, energy, jobs, you name it. Look into which candidates are tackling which issues in the coming months.
6. Election Days Are Rare
You can abstain from voting if you want. Members have the option to do so and doing so is a form of voting. But, we don’t get to vote as often as the representatives that we elect. Cast your vote now if you have any doubts about whether or not you should because you won’t have another chance to do so for a while.
7. Leslie Knope Wants You To Vote
There is no doubt in my mind that Leslie Knope would encourage you to get out there and vote. Seriously though, it’s easy to be cynical, but it’s just as easy to go ahead and vote then go on about your normal critiques of the political system. The system expects you to criticize it. Voting is a way of doing exactly that.