Get Out and Vote

There is a clear link between education and voting and it is not the one you think. If anyone can vote and anyone can vote for any reason, why would education help? In schools we value the debate process because it helps students marshal an argument for their position. Having a good reason to cast votes is not a partisan position, but rather, the democratic idea that a better informed electorate is the clear link to a sustainable democracy.

Number of Voters Count

And it is true that we often think of more voters as favoring a democrat win and less voters as supporting a republican win. But beyond partisanship, is the idea that if you educate your self about your issues you will be voting your preferences for a reason instead of just a partisan viewpoint. This is when voters cross party lines to vote for the things they think are best to vote for. 

Daughter Votes

My daughter was not going to vote after she recently turned 18. She said for whom would I vote? So I printed up the sample ballot, she read it, we discussed it, and my wife drove her to the polls! The lesson here is she agreed to be educated about the ballot. The simple but effective lesson here is that the impact of reading the ballot on her wanting to vote was large. 

Default Democracy

So we may be letting our democracy slip by not getting ourselves and others involved in knowing the issues. This seems even more important in this day and age of fake news. The default position is that our vote doesn’t count, the issues are someone else’s issues, and we have a government in place so believe them and let it run itself. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Vote Your Ideas

The best advice is to study up the issues, find people who you think will represent you well, and get out the vote for them. No taxation without representation. I was on Capitol Hill last month and after the security check for the Hart Senate building, no one asked me where I was going or what I was doing! We are all allowed in there! I went to find the legislative staff for the upcoming Higher Education Bill and found them receptive to my ideas, accepting of my paper, and easy to meet with again. This is democracy, it does work, it isn’t simple, but not having a clue about how it works is not acceptable. Research up your issues and vote your ideas. 

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

Dr. Robert A. Southworth, Jr.

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