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Obligated to vote?

I currently reside in the state of Florida, and today is the last day to register to vote before the upcoming election in November. I’ve been a registered voter since 8/24/2004, and have always exercised my right to vote.

I recently had a brief conversation with a co-worker who said she probably won’t vote because  she’s confused about who to vote for. I told her that she should do research on each candidate, and vote for the person she thinks will best represent her lifestyle and values.

It is extremely difficult to do research on a particular candidate without coming across information that is misleading or bias. The media and researchers have developed skills to mask their bias, and have put the inquirers in an unfortunate situation. Politics is and has always been a very heavy topic. It’s easier to make a stand in support of or against something that you’re informed about, but when information is misrepresented, it can be very hard for people to formulate a well-informed opinion. So, I encourage people to not only research their candidates, but also commit to doing research about where and how that research was compiled. We all know that FOX News and MSNBC are two of the most bias media outlets out there. I would not rely on either of these stations to become a well-informed voter. You have to dig deeper than the surface to find out which candidate you should vote for.

Now, I know there are a ton of people who truly  believe that their vote means nothing. I know there is no way to persuade you to think differently in that regard, but if you are anything other than a white male, at some point in history your race or gender was not entitled to vote. If  those who governed America outlawed women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, etc. from voting, then that form of expression must mean something. Yes, voting and who we elect has changed over the years. However, the essence of why we do it has not changed. Not to mention, people have fought, died and put their lives on the line to ensure that all those who come after them would have the right to vote. So, whether or not you think your vote matters, you should still exercise your right because for many of us, it hasn’t always been an option.

If you’re not registered to vote, be sure to find out when your state’s voter registration deadline is. While registering to vote is the first step, make sure you send in your absentee ballot, vote by mail, or show up at the polls. See the process all the way through!

www.gottavote.org

Like A Soda That Lost Its Fizz… 2012 Election

As you all are aware, this is an extremely important election coming up. President Obama and Vice President Biden are up for re-election and are running against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I debated whether or not I should refer to them by their first name only, since so many ignorant people choose to refer to President Obama as just Obama. As you can see, I took the high road.

As the days are dwindling down, I along with my family have noticed a lack of enthusiasm about this upcoming election as it concerns re-electing President Obama and Vice President Biden. I’m not sure why this is, but I hope it’s not an indication of what’s to happen come November. Yes, I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and will do so in 2012. I know that it’s just as important to go vote and encourage others to do so this year as it was four years ago.

Now, this post is not to tell you who to vote for, rather it’s to encourage President Obama’s supporters to step our game up, per say. We need to rally together and get other supporters enthusiastic about going to the polls in November just like we did in 2008. I know that I can’t afford to pay $2000 more in taxes a year, and I value my right to make decisions concerning my body. So, I will be ready to go on election day.

While watching the pre-reports of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), it was repeatedly stated that while things are not where we’d like them to be, we are definitely in a better situation than we were before President Obama took office. I agree. I think as Americans, our concept of time has in some ways damaged our view of the world. We believe that everything should be done at a fast pace, like the concept of the microwave. However, many things take time and patience, two virtues that are not fully grasped in our country. People were scrutinizing the President after being in office for only one year. Seriously?! He’s had a huge mess to clean up and I believe he’s done an excellent job thus far. He was the change that I was looking for in 2008 and he’s the change I look forward to in November 2012.

With that said, for all you President Obama supporters, I plead with you to make sure you bring that same enthusiasm you had in 2008 to 2012. The President and Vice President are going to need the same support that put them in office four years ago to keep them there. Do whatever you can to contribute, whether it be posting information to your Facebook or donating. I am going to  use social media as a means to communicate information about the upcoming election, and arrange for my community service organization to do something pertaining to voting.

I’d like to end on this note. Please educate yourself on voter rules and regulations in the county that you are registered to vote. While many will deny it, there are people out there who do not want you to vote. Some states have even vowed to do voter purges to “eliminate non-citizen voters.” Many believe this is a ploy to decrease the minority vote.  It has been reported that Mitt Romney has 0% of the black vote (please visit the link below). Also, for all you students out there, make sure you find out if you’re able to vote at the college you attend. When I voted for the first time in 2004, I was able to do so at the University of South Florida. I’ve heard that voting at the college you attend is being eliminated in some areas thus making it difficult for the young voters to participate.

Regardless of who you vote for, exercise your right to vote.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/mitt-romney-black-vote_n_1820329.html

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