Commentary

Catherine Rader: Embrace your civic duty – Vote on Nov. 4

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Catherine Rader, a member of the League of Women Voters of Vermont. She lives in East Montpelier.

In a little less than a week, voters in Vermont and around the country will be heading to the polls to cast votes in the 2014 elections. This isn’t a presidential election year but it is an important election, and as voters we need to decide who will do the best job for us in so many different and important roles from our county officials, to state representatives, the governor’s office and also in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

No matter the outcome, this election will determine the future of our country and impact the lives of every single one of us. Control of the U.S. Senate is up for grabs as is the balance of power of our federal government. Whether you are concerned about health care, the cost of education in our communities, what jobs are available for Vermonters, or the security of our nation, this election will bring change to the state of Vermont and the rest of our nation.

You can help decide what change will occur by casting a vote on Election Day, Nov. 4. Voting is the one time when all citizens have an equal say in standing up for the issues and priorities that matter most to us and our community. That is why it is so important for all of us to embrace our civic duty and cast our vote on Election Day.

Simply enter your address at VOTE411.org to find early and absentee voting options and locations in your state; what ID you need to show at the polls; candidate information for every voter in Vermont; polling place locations and hours; and details on candidate debates and forums, so you can hear directly from the candidates on the issues that matter most to you.

 

We vote to take control of what matters most to us: education and health care, the economy, our children, our parents and our environment. We vote for one another. The more of our friends, family and neighbors who participate, the more our democracy will reflect the community we live in. Together, our votes determine who will be elected and what happens to our families and our communities.

That means that right now is the time for everyone to familiarize ourselves with the candidates on the ballot and the offices up for grabs – from U.S. House through the Vermont House of Representatives – and make our plan to get to the polls. It is up to each of us to learn about the candidates before we cast the votes that will determine who will represent us. So, where do we go to find these answers?

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The League of Women Voter’s greatest resource each and every election is VOTE411.org: It is the place to find all the information you need to be ready to vote on Nov. 4. Simply enter your address at VOTE411.org to find early and absentee voting options and locations in your state; what ID you need to show at the polls; candidate information for every voter in Vermont; polling place locations and hours; and details on candidate debates and forums, so you can hear directly from the candidates on the issues that matter most to you.

Candidates are asking for a shot at the job of representing you. In Vermont there are many races on the ballot and the decisions these officials make in office will impact our state and lives for years to come. And guess what? Each vote helps decide who gets the job! Watch candidate debates and forums or read the information submitted directly by candidates on VOTE411.org to learn more about their stance on issues important to you.

So much is at stake this election. It is important that you have an Election Day game plan and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Now is the time to learn about your local voting rules, think about how and when you’ll cast your vote, and commit to voting in the elections in your community. Together our votes will influence policies and issues that are addressed by our elected officials. They are about us; we all need to weigh in. As American citizens, it is our responsibility and civic duty to vote – it is a core duty of all Americans. Get ready by visiting VOTE411.org and vote on Nov. 4.

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