Exercise Your Right at the Voting Booth

Registered to Vote, Register to Vote, get out and vote, Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life

Election Day is upon us here in America. It’s time to get out and vote! As mindful citizens it’s our job to head to the voting booths, but how many of us will be making the journey?

In 1845, the U.S. Congress declared that the Tuesday after the first Monday of November is Election Day, which this year is November 6th. It was thought to be ideal because harvesting would be over and winter storms would not have begun. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case this year. Since Election Day cannot be postponed, there have been concerns about voting numbers in communities that have been wrecked by Hurricane Sandy.

Though the effects of the storm may hinder some Americans from voting they aren’t the only ones to be discouraged.

Too Many Americans Aren’t Registered to Vote

According to the U.S. Census, 71 percent of voting-age Americans were registered to vote in 2008. This is a slight decrease from the 72 percent of voting-age Americans that were registered to vote in 2004. The percentage this year is projected to be even lower than 71 percent. In fact, it’s estimated that 40 percent of U.S. adults will not be voting this year.

Suffolk University and USA Today conducted a survey of unregistered and unlikely voters. When the participants were asked why they had little interest in politics and voting, 59 percent believed that nothing gets done, 54 percent felt that officials are corrupt and 37 percent believed that politics don’t affect their lives much. Others claimed to be too busy to vote, felt indifferent about the candidates, or believed that their vote wouldn’t count.

This survey shows that too many Americans have forgotten the importance of using their right to vote. Government officials make vital decisions about how our society will run. And it wasn’t too long ago that many of us wouldn’t have even been given a chance to voice our opinions due to prejudiced laws. After so many American ancestors fought for equality in the voting booth, it would be a shame for us to not to take this right seriously.

Get Out and Vote

For more Mindful voter information, check out the bullets listed below.

  • The website Can I Vote lets you access your voter registration information, find your polling place and gives a list of eligible ID you can bring to the polling places.
  • If you’re interested in getting nonpartisan information about national and local candidates, consider websites like Project Vote Smart and Vote411.
  • Lastly, don’t feel like your vote won’t count because your state is predominantly “republican” or “democrat” based on the electoral college. As citizens of this republic, every vote is counted and recorded. Get your voice heard!