Your vote matters

Published 9:02 am Monday, November 7, 2022

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It is officially November and it’s the transition time between Halloween and Thanksgiving. While many will be getting a head start on their holiday wish list and checking it twice, there is one more list US citizens should be looking at this season, the sample ballot.

It is almost fitting that the elections fall in November since hundreds of years ago, the pilgrims celebrated their first autumn harvest in the new land they traveled to for freedom to make their own choices. Fast forward a hundred years later, the 13 colonies won their freedom from King George III. So why not use the right that so much has spilled so much blood for?

There is no doubt that this is a very stressful time of year and anyone can easily be discouraged from voting because of the countless candidates on the ballot. However, we are fortunate to live in a day in age where information is easily accessible to the public. People can find out about the election and the candidate from their phones, computers, and even their local papers. In a study of the Birmingham area by Pew Research, 40 percent of Birmingham citizens access their information via mobile devices. Visiting a candidate’s website or even finding a news organization with an unbiased description can give voters confidence in finding someone who can represent their own beliefs.

All elections are important regardless of whether it is national, state level, or local. However, local and state elections are the ones that often have the greatest impact on a voter out of the three right now. This might seem odd, but this is because this deeply impacts voters on a more intimate level. Local and state elections determine the road Columbiana residents drive on every day to get to work, the school system the kids of Pelham attend and the park in North Shelby people walk through every day. The votes that people make in the local and state elections affect the day-to-day more often than not. So it is important to go and have your voice be heard.

Voting does make a difference. So many people who have come before us fought for their right to be represented in this country. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” A vote does matter, it makes a difference.