Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why voting matters.

America, the land of the brave and the home of the free! What makes us free? Our freedom hinges on our right to change our government every 4 years through voting. Our very lives are affected by the way we vote. Simple things such as the price of milk can be affected by who we vote into office.

I know, I know you don't know who is running and it is hard for you to keep up with them because it doesn't interest you right? Well let me ask you something, who was the latest winner of American Idol? More Americans vote for American Idol then in a Presidential election and the numbers are staggering. More than 500 million votes were cast for American Idol in 2005 and a mere 122 million votes were cast in the 2004 election.

For a right that affects people on so many levels there seems to be a serious lack of interest especially in the elections that matter most, local elections.

Local elections matter most because policies and taxes levied are more greatly influenced by local politicians such as city council member, mayors and district judges. City council members and mayors can increase property taxes, create fines and issue tax bonds. Along with taxing the local politicians can create laws that directly affect your property of business. Zoning laws and restrictions.

Local judges interpret local laws and based on their interpretations they can severely affect your life or your neighbors. In Vermont a local judge sentenced a man who raped a child off with a 60 day sentence. Judges like that are elected of appointed by politicians that you elect.

Most of all people don't vote because they say their vote doesn't make a difference. In the case of the president it does make a difference somewhat. The electoral college is bound to vote along party lines for each state which means if more people vote for a republican then then the republican garners all the electoral college votes for that state. The population of each state determines the number of electoral college votes. California has the most and is a very important state because of it.

If you really think your vote is worthless then why vote for the American Idol where your vote is even more worthless? Furthermore, local elections have come down to a matter of 1% where the difference is a mere 20 or 30 votes. Every vote counts! To find out more about your local elections visit your County's website or the Secretary of State for the State you are registered to vote in.

This year marks another presidential election year and being that we are a nation at war, it is very important to make yourself aware of who is running locally and nationally. Politicians will not only affect your wallet but they will affect your lives. Stay abreast of who is running and what their stance is on the issues you care about most. For me that is taxes, immigration and the war in Iraq. Locally I am more concerned about taxes, obscene land grabs and local business support.

Voting is not easy and it shouldn't be. You should have to make tough decisions and vote for those who best represent your point of view. Don't let your neighbor make all the decisions for you! I mean seriously have you seen his yard lately?

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