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Ladies & Gentlemen, it’s that time again. It’s time to vote!

Some of you are thinking My vote won’t count, or Elections are a farce, or Gerrymandering and money decides results, not the populace. I hear you, but your vote is needed now more than ever before.

I empathize with the above sentiments, but if we’ve learned anything from the events of recent months it’s that real, genuine power and results are derived out of the actions of the masses.

I’m not here to tell anyone who to vote for or even how they should vote, but we do have a responsibility to participate in our nation’s democratic process. There’s no denying American elections’ inherent flaws, whether accidental and incidental or purposely created to disenfranchise voters, but there is efficacy in each and every vote cast.

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43% of Americans don’t vote in presidential elections. The number jumps to 55% for the midterms. Estimates set the number of American citizens who don’t vote at between over thirty and fifty million. If every one of us turns out to vote this November, and in every election after that, our representatives in government will discover that we as communities, as a society, and as a nation care about who leads us and how they do it.

It will also prove we’re listening, we’re watching, and we’re paying attention to what they do. Our activity and participation in the selection of government will serve notice.

Voting is difficult. It requires a tremendous amount of emotional and intellectual energy. It requires time, a resource we all have too little of, but research we must do in order to vet candidates and the initiatives.  There’s an unfortunate amount of compromise as well. There’s not one voter who should expect 100% agreement with any candidate or ballot measure. Regardless, we must make our selections.

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In some areas people will find it more difficult to cast their ballots than in others. It’s truly unfortunate, but those citizens must fight for their right and persevere when possible. If the turnout is as large as it can be then they will not be denied. It will force coverage from the press and response from our elected officials.

Some people will vote for certain things we won’t agree with. Others will vote against the things we support. In either case, no one can expect to get their way unless they fill out their ballots and vote. It’s time, America, to vote as if our lives depend on it, as if our family’s and friends’ futures depend on it, because they just might.

It’s time again to vote, so we can earn the right to celebrate if our candidates and measures win, as well as to have the right to complain if they don’t.

To the nearly half of us who don’t or won’t vote, I plea with you, get registered before it’s too late. National Voter Registration Day is this Tuesday. Although it’s not the deadline to be able to vote in this next election, take a moment to go check it out. Let your voice ring because you so deserve to be heard.

November 3rd is the next opportunity to shape the future of We the People. Let’s not squander the opportunity presented to us by our freedom.

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