Blog the vote
Colleen Mondor at Chasing Ray has invited us to "Blog the vote;" that is, to discuss in a non-partisan way why voting matters.
First, I'll share a True Life Story here. About a month ago, my husband and I were talking to his teenage son about the election. We asked my stepson whom he would vote for if he were of age. The candidate he named happens to be the one my husband and I are both voting for, which made us happy. Then I asked, "Why?" and he said, "I don't know." Urp! We immediately proceeded to talk with him about why we're voting for that candidate.
I want people to vote, but I also want them to think about what they're doing. And we need to talk to kids about the issues, so that when they walk into their first voting booth, they have some idea what statement they want to make when they're in there.
Now, reasons to vote. These are just some of the things that elected officials and political appointees (at all levels of government--federal, state, local) decide in American society. If you care about any of these issues, why would you not want to have some say in who makes the decisions?
Drinking age, driving age, voting age
The amount of funds dedicated to preserving open space in local communities
Who gets appointed to the Supreme Court (and lower courts as well)
Who pays taxes, and how much
The amount of the minimum wage
Who pays Social Security, and who gets it
The fate of intellectual property rights (such as copyright)
Whether we should use capital punishment
What constitutes torture and whether it may be used by agents of this government
Who may marry, and whether domestic partners are entitled to spousal benefits
How the financial bailout package will be used, administered and overseen
How much we pay for schools, libraries, and police
Which energy sources we will pursue, and which we will subsidize
The amount of funding allocated to: the National Park Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and all the other agencies that oversee our management of transportation, food, medicine, security, environment, etc., etc.
I'm guessing that somewhere on that list is something you care about. And that list is not complete, by any means.
Read how others are blogging the vote at this link.