The mid-term elections are less than a month away!
Every registered voter must cast a ballot.
- Voting means you choose the men and women who will set policies that affect you and your family.
- Voting gives you a voice in actually setting policies that affect your communities (such as Issue 1, which could reduce Ohio’s incarceration rate and impact the future of low-level drug offenders).
- Voting in this election will ensure that you are not purged from the state of Ohio’s list of registered voters. After the November election, Secretary of State John Husted will begin identifying registered voters who have not voted in the past 2 years and will move toward canceling their registrations.
- Voting is empowering. It gives you an opportunity to help direct the future of your community, your state, your country.
It’s easy to feel frustrated by our elected officials, who often seem to not be listening to what we want, need, or dream of. It’s easy to feel completely ignored by those in power. It’s easy to feel invisible. And it’s easy to just stay home on election day, feeling that it doesn’t matter one whit whether you vote or not.
But it does matter. A lot!
In the 2016 presidential election, there were more than 7.8 million people registered to vote in the state of Ohio. Only 5.6 million registered voters actually voted. That means that more than one quarter of Ohio voters DID NOT VOTE.
Can you imagine what a difference it might have made if they had?
- Ohioans could have collectively helped change the outcome of the Presidential election.
- Ohioans could have improved the accountability of their elected representatives by voting out incumbents who ignored them and voting in candidates who would better represent them.
- Ohioans could have changed the make-up of the state legislature, which is now so heavily tilted toward one party that representatives of the other party are largely unheard.
- Ohioans could have changed the results of many local elections: mayors, city councils, local boards of education.
- Ohioans could have helped ensure greater stability of the Affordable Health Care Act (known as Obamacare), potentially keeping more insurers in the health care marketplace and lowering premium costs.
Instead, more than two million Ohio voters remained silent. Two million!
This year, you have the power of change in your hands. There are no guarantees that your preferred candidates will win. There are no guarantees that your vote will move ballot issues in the direction you wish them to go.
But if you don’t vote, there is a guarantee that nothing will change. If you remain silent, you’ll be telling today’s lawmakers and representatives that everything is fine. You’ll be telling them you approve of the conditions in your community, your state, your country. You’ll be telling them that what you think, what you need, what your dreams are—don’t matter.
- You’ll be telling them that you approve of the condition of public education in this state and your local community.
- You’ll be telling them that you’re okay with further limiting or repealing the Affordable Health Care Act.
- You’ll be telling them that you’re in favor of reducing Medicaid benefits and adding new work requirements for Medicaid recipients.
- You’ll be telling them that it’s okay to reduce the Social Security and Medicare benefits that Ohio’s seniors have earned.
Is that what you want to say this November?
Early voting began October 10. Election Day is November 6. There’s still time for you to make a difference in this election.
A wise man in ancient times, Hillel the Elder, once said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?” If each of us remains silent, we can’t possibly effect change. If we don’t vote, we make ourselves invisible, unimportant. We can’t expect our government to work for us if we don’t speak loudly enough to be heard.
Voting is a way to stand up for ourselves. If we don’t stand up and speak our minds, if we don’t show our elected representatives what we stand for and expect them to stand for, if we don’t use our vote (the strongest tool we have) to express our satisfaction or dissatisfaction to our government, then how can we expect elected officials to pay attention to us?
Experts predict that 880,000 Ohioans will not vote this year. Will you be one of them?
Contact your county board of elections or go to www.myohiovote.com to check your registration status or to register. Be sure you know where your polling place is; voting locations may have changed since the last election.
Vote early or on election day, November 6. Have a say in your future and in the future of your family, your community, your country.
Stand up and be counted. Vote.