You may think there are lots of reasons not to, but they don't add up.
There's not a person in America – except for maybe the guy who's literally been hiding in a cave for the past year and a half – who doesn't realize that what happens on Tuesday, Nov. 6 will have a significant impact on citizens. The big questions are who and how many will be affected, and what kind(s) of impact will be felt.
Contrary to what naysayers believe, most adults in this nation do have a say in addressing these questions and ultimately control the outcome, in groups. It's called voting.
Voter turnout in the United States is much lower than in most other nations' well-established democracies. The reasons and excuses for this are as varied as the colors of the rainbow and cannot be attributed to one particular thing. A few to look at:
• My vote won't count – This age-old excuse has been shot down many times in local elections, especially those that were ultimately decided with a coin toss that could have been averted if only that guy who was going to vote for the incumbent but instead chose to go home and sleep after a long day at work.
While elections on the magnitude of national and even state levels are certainly a different story, the tight races and recounts of recent years make one wonder what would have happened if all those people who didn't vote because they felt it didn't mater had decided to show up at the polls.
• I hate all politicians. They're all a bunch of whiners, mud-slingers, crooks and jerks. – This is certainly true of some, but there are still those sincere people who are running for office because they genuinely want to make a difference. Look for these guys; they're keepers and will do right by you. And if, by chance, there is absolutely no one on the ballot you care to vote for, write in someone's name that you do; Big Bird, BFF and your favorite teacher are a few suggestions.
• Money rules the election, and only the rich win. – Unfortunately, the first part of this excuse tends to be true more often than not. The candidate who rakes in the most campaign contributions tends to get elected, but not always. There are some who are simply more popular, well-known and liked than their opponents and don't need the big bucks to prevail. What really gets these ones into their office of choice, though, is the fact that their supporters came out in droves to support them.
• I don't know enough about the candidates or amendments to me a sound ballot decision. – We could all say that at one time or another, right? And if we did, who, pray tell, could even get elected?
There are plenty of resources out there, online and elsewhere, to find out more. You needn't be an expert on any of these things. Just make up your prior to voting and stick to that decision.
The bottom line is GET OUT AND VOTE. It's a privilege not to be taken for granted but to use wisely. The population of the nation is not being fairly or proportionally represented if people of all incomes and other demographics are not turning out at the polls. There's nothing more prestigious than to proudly wear that red and white "I Voted" sticker all around town after walking out of the polling place.