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The 2018 election is upon us. You can submit a request to your County Clerk for a mail-in ballot. Beginning on October 9th, and until Election Day, you can stop by your courthouse and vote. Elections are exciting to me. I have not missed many opportunities to vote in my lifetime. I am not sure if it is the competition or if it is finding out the results after the weeks of speculation about the outcomes. It has never been hard for me to be motivated to exercise my right and, in my mind, my duty to vote.
With all of the ugliness in Washington D.C. these days and the gotcha politics going on in some of our statewide races, I can see why some people may be discouraged about voting. I believe most everyone wonders from time to time if their vote really matters. Having been elected several times for different offices from my local school board to now a state senator I can say without a doubt, yes, your vote matters. The votes matter not only to those on the ballot, regardless of the office, but also to the ballot initiatives that are included on the ballot as well. I believe it deserves the minimal amount of effort it takes from all of us to go and vote.
Whether or not you want the ballot initiatives to pass, and even if there is only one person to vote for in the race, we as Americans must take this responsibility very seriously. We cannot let those who have made politics a dirty word keep us from voting. We cannot let those who sling mud and spread half-truths in a race keep us from voting. If we choose to not vote, they win. We must vote and we must make informed votes. Just because something or someone has a catchy commercial or newspaper ad does not mean it should automatically gain our vote. In order for our form of government to work it requires an informed electorate.
We as citizens must educate ourselves about the candidates and the issues and vote accordingly. We must have the understanding that you are not going to agree with anyone on every single issue. We need to take the time to learn the facts and award our vote to the person who most closely aligns with our values. The only thing worse than not voting is making an uninformed vote. Consult your local newspaper, do a Google search on your computer, or take the time to reach out to the candidate and learn about them and their views. You might be surprised to find out just how down to earth most candidates are, and the vast majority of them are volunteering to do a job, for little or no pay, that is vital to our democracy. See you at the polls!
I always enjoy hearing from the Nebraskans I represent. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns that you might have. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is (402) 471-2805. You can read more about bills and other work of the Legislature at www.nebraskalegislature.gov, and you can click on the Live Video Streaming NET logo to watch sessions, hearings, and other Capitol events.