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Exercising the right to vote is important

I’ve often heard over the years how much the younger generation does not vote. How individuals in their 20’s and 30’s are typically the ones most likely to skip the polls altogether and not make their voice heard. I don’t know how or why this all started, and often find I look back at my youth and wonder why that is .

I grew up in a very political family. To say “very” might actually be an understatement. My dad served as president of our local Community Service District (CSD) in El Dorado Hills, California when I was a kid. I do remember things like him running for office and his face up all over town on posters – but what I remember the most was his stern demand, not request, that all his children register to vote at the age of 18 and make sure their voice is heard.

Now, he may have intended for our voice to be his voice more than once in conversations, not necessarily liking when we disagreed with him on politics, but he still did a great job of setting the foundation for us to be registered and involved voters year after year. Nothing much has changed since back then, and it doesn’t take much for me to remember the radio in my parents’ room with Rush Limbaugh talking about the latest in United States politics every morning. Although not as invested as my father, I have always drug myself to the polls every election year and made sure my voice was heard. Even in California where my republican/libertarian views were always drowned in the liberal masses that made it impossible for me to win.

The point being, even in a state where my voice was never reflected in the mass voting, I did not let that discourage me. I have quoted this before, although its relevance to next month makes it important to state again. “Choosing not to vote is not rebellion, it is surrender.”

Even when my voice was never heard, that did not matter. What mattered was that I showed up anyways. I let my voice be known. I could walk away from the polls with confidence that even if my vote was not the majority, I took a stand – and I have my father to thank for that.

The first Tuesday of next month is a big day for this county and state and should not be taken lightly. I urge each and every citizen to go to the polls. Cast your vote. Even if it is not the deciding vote, your voice does matter.

John F. Kennedy said, “Let us not seek the republican answer or the democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

For years I have told people that America would be better off, and we would see more change if politicians would stop fighting sides and attempt to fight and fix the problems instead. In order to do so, we the people are responsible for electing the officials that we believe will hopefully put all differences aside and it is our obligation as United States citizens to vote for the candidate who can do just that.

This election year, I hope you have all taken the time to read the candidates ballots and have also weighed the pros and cons in their viewpoints and why they would be a good candidate for the office they are running for. If our latest reader poll is any indication, Jessamine County is ready for a change and I hope it makes the right choices. I hope to see you all out at the polls voting. When heading to cast your vote on Nov. 6, remember the importance of your right to make your voice heard.

“It is very important for us to protect the right to vote, but it is equally important to exercise the right to vote.”

Brittany Fuller is the community editor of The Jessamine Journal and Jessamine Life magazine. She can be reached at brittany.fuller@jessaminejournal.com.