It’s Voting Season
Autumn is the time of year when the leaves fall, plants go dormant and election signs sprout up in their place. But Autumn is not the only time for elections. On June 13th, 2017 you will vote in the gubernatorial primary. I know it seems like we just got through a big election, but there are two states that elect their Governors the year after the Presidential elecctions: Virginia and New Jersey.
You drive down Independence Boulevard or Princess Anne Road and the signs are so prolific that you can’t even read them. The reason for all the signs is to convince voters to get out and exercise their civic duty by voting on election day. The problem with this is that the signs don’t tell you anything about the candidates.
Why Voting Is So Important
First off, if you are 18 years old or older, you should register to vote. I’ve heard people say that they don’t want to register because it’s too hard. That’s just not true. Go to any DMV or library and you can register for voting by filling out a very easy form. On voting day you bring your picture ID and you can vote. I’ve heard people say that they are not interested in voting. I think that’s a shame. Every election is important.
Sure the presidential elections are huge, but the local elections for Mayor, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff, School Board, etc. are equally important, maybe more important. Your locally elected representatives have more impact on your own life than the President does. Local elections determine zoning laws, pass bills that fund local road projects, local tax rates for real estate and schools. State Senate and General Assembly members make laws for the Commonwealth that effect you. The Governor is the CEO of the Commonwealth.
Before Voting, Educate Yourself
Go online to look up ballots for the 2017 election in your locality to see who is running. Then go to their web site and see what they stand for. Do you have an issue that’s really important to you? Maybe being green and caring about the environment is your issue. Perhaps you care about student loans or prison reform. Maybe you think there should be more playgrounds in our neighborhoods. No matter what your issue is, find out which candidate will be looking out for YOUR issue. Then follow through on election day and VOTE!!!
Meet the Candidates
This year, the statewide candidates are traveling throughout the Commonwealth to give Virginians a chance to get to know them. Make time to attend a town hall or a meet and greet. Listen to the candidates and then make your decision.
It is important to vote in EVERY election. On June 13th, go to your polling location and cast your vote. Make your voice heard. If you have met a candidate that you are passionate about, then volunteer to work to get him elected. The more you participate, the more you will have a hand in guiding the direction Virginia will take in the future.
Editor’s Note: We originally published this article in October 2015. We have edited it for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.