Do I really have to vote?

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Kathryn O’Connor
CONTRIBUTOR

Vote as if the way you wish to live your life depends on it, because it does. Photo courtesy of Mars Nevada.

The short answer is yes. You may contemplate if your vote would carry any significance in the overall outcome of the election. In truth, every vote counts.

There are several implications if you decide not to vote in the upcoming 2020 election. By not casting a ballot for the candidate that holds your support, you make it more difficult for them to triumph and easier for the candidate you don’t want to come out victorious.

Above all else, you give up a constitutional right.

John Cartier, director of voting rights for Civic Nebraska, an organization dedicated to community, innovation, learning, power and optimism, explained the direct connotations if young people skip out on voting this year.

“As a student, the consequences of not voting is, the best way I could put it, is you’re not going to be expressing your voice for people who are quite literally going to be shaping the direction of your life,” Cartier said.

However, voting on the national level is not the only item on this year’s ballot.

Voters should also be informed about constitutional amendments and new legislation on the ballot, as well as house, senate, state senate and legislative races based on your address.

Flyers were distributed by Civic Nebraska, educating individuals about the process of voting and voter’s rights.

According to the flyer, “Our communities are stronger when we own them together. A more modern and robust democracy for all Nebraskans is built from engaged and informed citizens who take action in their communities in meaningful ways.”

Sample ballots can be found at ballotpedia.org and are available to help educate voters before Nov. 3.

Educated participation is key to changing our democracy in this election. To register to vote, visit voterparticipation.org before Oct. 16 or a designated registration location prior to Oct. 23.

Once you’re registered to vote, there are several options available to you that cater to the health and safety of everyone amid COVID-19.

If you have received your ballot to vote by mail, send back by Oct. 20 to assure it arrives by Election Day. If you fill it out after that designated date, please take it to an official county dropbox.

In-person voting is still available to those who choose it. Following registration, locate your polling place at bit.ly/mypollingplacene or call Civic Nebraska’s Election Hotline at 402-890-5291.

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