Use your voice: it’s time to vote

Cristina Gonzalez/Contributing Writer

If you’ve registered yourself to vote for the upcoming election on Nov. 6, then congratulations, you’ve taken the first crucial step in making an impact.

Now, it’s time to get out there and vote.

Whether you choose to vote early, starting Oct. 22, by mail, or in person on the official voting day, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for all of you to vote.

Local representation has more of an impact on your day to day than you may realize. Don’t underestimate the significance of midterm elections. Midterm elections allow voters to significantly change who holds the power in Congress for the next two years. The outcome of this election, in particular, will be critical.

Whichever side of the political spectrum you find yourself on, educating yourself on who and what is on the ballot, is key. Take the time to research each candidate and their political agendas thoroughly before you make a final decision. Vote based on who you believe will represent your interests the best.

Florida’s 2018 ballot will have 12 proposed amendments, one of the longest that’s ever been on the ballot. Putting an end to commercial greyhound racing in the state of Florida is just one of the 12 amendments you will be seeing in November.

Between all the candidates running for state legislature and the long list of wordy and complicated amendments, it can get confusing. A few of the amendments on this year’s ballot include several issues that have been linked together into one single amendment.

Most of the issues are completely unrelated, making it difficult to decide whether to vote “yes” or “no.”

For example, Amendment 7 highlights three different proposals.

Voting yes on 7 would require university trustees to have a two-thirds supermajority vote when making changes to student fees (excluding tuition), it would provide benefits to survivors of first responders and military killed in the line of duty, and it would also implement guidelines for the state college system in the constitution.

A “yes” vote would mean you’re okay with all three of those proposals passing, which won’t necessarily be the case for every voter. That’s why bundling several issues into one amendment makes for a tough decision on voting day.

Take your time to go through each amendment individually. Make sure you’ve read them carefully and understand what is being presented to you.

People often avoid going to the polls, especially during the midterm elections, because they refuse to believe that one vote will make a difference.

It’s easy to feel like your vote doesn’t matter. But it does.

Your voice, opinions, and beliefs matter and it’s our right to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear.

If you’re angry or you feel let down by the people who were meant to represent you, then vote.

If you want change, this is your chance to make it happen. Sitting back and complaining won’t change anything, but taking an hour out of your day to wait in line and vote, can.

So, go vote. Tell your friends, your family members, your neighbors, and your classmates to do the same.

Remember, always strive to be an educated and empowered voter.

Photo by Luke Michael on Unsplash.

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