"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
November in the U.P. brings many things-hunting season, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and, of course, Election Day. Hopefully you are registered to vote (otherwise you are too late for this one) and preparing to exercise your right to vote Nov. 5.
Websites like dosomething.org and rockthevote.com are great resources for information and have a way of inspiring you to vote. I pulled this top 10 reasons to vote list from several different voting sites and I believe it sums up the answers to the "why should I vote?" question:
- You can earn an "I Voted" sticker.
- If you don't vote, you'll be a hypocrite when you complain about politics.
- You take time to vote for your favorite TV show, restaurant and sports team all the time.
- You live in a country where every voice can be heard. Exercise your right.
- At 18 young men register for the draft. If you're expected to defend your country you should have a say in how it's run.
- It's your money. Those who you vote for will decide how much of your wealth to invest in public services and how to share the tax burden.
- Our children are depending on us to represent their voices too.
- One voice, one vote really does count.
- Democracy works only if its citizens, young and old, are active participants.
- Go to the polls because you support democracy and our ability to elect the people who govern us and our right to be free.
Rockthevote.com has created a Voting System Scorecard that measures state laws and policies in three key areas: voter registration, casting a ballot and young voter preparation. Overall the analysis revealed that young Americans are being left out of the democratic process for a variety of reasons. Michigan ranked 38th overall. How are you as a parent, grandparent, educator and/or citizen encouraging young people in your sphere of influence to exercise their right to vote? Do you set a good example by educating yourself on the candidates and issues and voting yourself?
While registering to vote is the first step, more goes into preparing to pull that lever or color in the circle on Election Day. Make sure you find out the factual information surrounding the ballot issues and potential candidates. By going to the county clerk's page on Marquette County's website you will find a link to view the sample ballot you will see in your voting precinct. This will help as you begin your research and make your final decisions.
At the LSCP, we work with local, state and federal elected officials regularly and greatly respect those who take the time to serve in this capacity. It certainly isn't an easy job but is a very important one as we elect them to speak for us during their term in office.
Often times we step away from the process once Election Day passes, but there is so much more we can all contribute. Weigh in on issues as they come up. Attend public hearings to share your opinion.
For more information on the LSCP's efforts in government affairs visit our website (www.marquette.org) under Business Resources and Connect to Advocacy & Regulatory Affairs.
Remember, Nov. 5 is Election Day. Get out and vote!
Editor's note: Amy Clickner is CEO?of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.