Commentary

04.22.15

Primetime: The Election Is Upon Us

By

Voting Booth

You’ve talked back to your television screen, held conversations with your newspaper, called your mother on the phone, or exchanged witty banter over the fence with your neighbor, but those taxes are still high and those roads are still dangerous. Maybe you should try voting in the upcoming primary election instead.

Your voice is heard through your vote. Those with the power, authority, and budget to make changes need to know how you feel. A simple yay or nay on a ballot is all it takes.

Five Things To Know Before You Vote

Vote in the Ohio Primary Election May 5. For more information, visit our ACLU of Ohio Vote Center.

Local races and issues directly impact your community and your daily life. You already pay taxes, you owe it to yourself to pay attention and participate as well. Here are five things to keep in mind about voting:

  • Be Informed—Do your due diligence and research which candidates and issues are on your local ballot by visiting your Local Board of Elections website.
  • Know Who’s Running—Candidates run for positions like mayor, board of education members, council members and judges. All of these people make decisions that impact your community. If you don’t agree with the positions, policies, and performance of a particular official, now is the time to vote for a better candidate. Or perhaps you feel an official is doing an outstanding job then you should vote to re-elect. Sitting idly by assuming that other voters will do the job forfeits the power of your vote.
  • Change Your Community—Maybe you’re tired of the potholes on your daily commute or concerned about the hazardous playground equipment at your local park, then you may have a solution on the upcoming ballot.
  • There’s No Taxation Without Representation—Tax levies are common issues on local ballots. New ones are proposed, old ones are increased or renewed. This is how many schools, parks, streets, buildings, and other improvements are funded. If you value the education system in your community or want to ensure the infrastructure around town is stable you may choose to vote for these levies. If you feel you gave enough with the last levy and aren’t satisfied with the allocation of monies, you may choose to vote against them.
  • Visit the ACLU’s Vote Center—Find out on our website where and how to vote, important dates for voting by mail, what forms of ID are acceptable, and more. Most of all, it’s important to know your voting rights.

We the People

You may think one vote is not enough, and there’s a slight truth in that statement. However, when voters come out in their communities, one vote is added with another. That’s how the collective power of voting works. It’s often apparent, especially in local races when elections are won by narrow margins, how important one vote can be.

Encourage your friends, family, co-workers, and other community members to vote. No need to impose your views or beliefs, simply urge someone to vote so they can feel empowered as they participate in the democratic process. Go a step further by providing a ride or voting information to help ensure that they show up at the polls.

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