The Big Result of a Tiny Civic Duty


The first time I ever voted in a national election, I was 19 years old. I was a sophomore in college and I voted in the Presidential election. I remember that vote, but not much else. I had no understanding of anything “down-ticket” and just left it blank. 

For years, this was my usual voting pattern. I was aware of the big races (Governor, Senator, maybe the Big City Mayor), but rarely understood the initiatives, propositions, or any of the local races. What struck me one day was that those local races almost always had a bigger effect on my daily life than the ones that got all the media attention.

A few years ago, I decided that I needed to get better about that. So now, every election cycle, a few days before voting, I’ll sit down and go through the ballot. I’ll research the various races, measures and proposals. I will see who is endorsing a candidate and why. It doesn’t take long. usually less than hour. 

It isn’t a lot of effort, but doing it makes me feel like I’m actually doing my job as an informed citizen. I’m not wasting my vote. I have spent hundreds of hours in the last couple months reading, listening and talking about politics. But, spending an hour so that I can make educated chocies on my ballot on Tuesday is really the only one that counts. 

Voting day is Tuesday, November 6th. Make sure you make your voice count!