Your vote is your voice. Use it wisely.

Your vote is your voice. Use it wisely.

I have yet to miss an opportunity to vote. There was one primary election when I was young and decided to pass on it until my dad told me to get my butt down to the Hardburly Post Office to vote. I became more invested in my community as the years went by and I haven’t looked back since.

As someone who works in a newsroom, elections are already stressful. But this presidential race launched the stress-level into the stratosphere and I look forward to this one being over just as much as I looked forward to it happening.

Out of all the votes I have cast over the years, I can honestly say not one went to a candidate who did not earn my vote. If I didn’t think any of the people running for a particular office echoed my voice and could make the progress I wanted, moving to the next race on the ballot was always an option for me. I don’t owe any politician, any party or any agenda anything. This system is supposed to work for the people, and a lot of times “we the people” end up working for the system.

While Facebook has been a nasty place for the last few months because of this election, living in a country where you can express your opinions freely is one of the greatest luxuries we could be afforded in this world. I would love to pour out my convictions in this post and share what is important to me, but I take my job as a journalist seriously and will not do that until I have flipped over to the next chapter in my life.

If you didn’t vote in this election, go out and get registered before the next one. If you did vote, keep it up. But don’t tell folks that didn’t take the opportunity or didn’t vote for your candidate/party they don’t have a right to complain. The first amendment extends to all of us and when we start telling people they have to be silent, we lose part of what made this country great to begin with. Encourage people to use their voice, audibly and in the voting booth.