Editorial: Get out and vote this election season
In today’s political climate, politics can feel disingenuous.
With all the political ads on TV, radio and in print, as well as its frequent infiltration in the news cycle, citizens can feel distant — or even unwanted and undervalued — by their local, state and federal governments. They can also feel overwhelmed and confused with what’s on the ballot too.
In general, nearly 40 percent of the population believes that elections are unfair, according to a Sept. 2018 Marist poll, in which respondents said they lack faith that votes will be counted accurately in elections.
That may be an issue nationally, but here at the local level that shouldn’t be much of a concern for all parties involved. In small mountain towns, especially here in Craig, it’s much easier for a voter’s voice — and vote — to be heard, leaving an impact one way or another. That alone is a major reason why it’s so important to exercise one’s right and privilege in this country to vote not just this election season, but every election season.
Elections are the cornerstone of democracy. The United States, however, is not a true democracy. The United States is a republic, meaning that citizens place representatives in power to act on their behalf when making decisions. Now, whether these representatives actually do act on the behalf of their constituents is another topic for another time but, generally speaking, we are still a republic. When you vote for a house member or a senator, you are voting for someone to represent you and your district.
So, keeping this in mind, know that if you want your voice to be heard, you must vote. If you feel that the government needs to place more restrictions or fewer restrictions on guns in this country, you have the power to elect people to speak on your behalf on that issue. If you believe that we need some kind of reform on immigration laws in this country, you have the power to change that by voting. Any issue, topic and nearly any law in this country has the ability to change when people vote.
The problem, however, is that many people don’t vote.
Registering to vote in Moffat County is the first step toward exercising that constitutional right, and it’s arguably the most important because without registration, you can’t vote. Here in Colorado, people can register to vote all the way up until Election Day, as long as they show up in person to register. If you haven’t registered yet and want to have your voice heard on local and state matters, there’s still time!
Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or independent, this is the time of year make your voice heard and vote.
Registering and voting on Election Day requires much more than filling in circles on a mail-in ballot, or punching slots at the voting booth to vote on ballot questions.
Should you vote this election cycle, please educate yourself on the issues that appear on the ballot, ranging from local marijuana ordinances to larger state issues. The language used within the issues on the ballot can be confusing, but you can read up on Propositions CC and DD in Oct. 30’s Craig Press.
Aside from casting your own votes, make sure to take the time this election season — especially in this weather — to lend a helping hand to the elderly and the disabled, whether that means giving them a ride to the drop-box for ballots, or assisting them with voting, as federal law allows a disabled person to get assistance when it comes to voting.
No matter what, make your voice heard this election season. You can be heard and can have an impact by simply exercising a constitutional right.