LJaumePicSo it begins… the debates, the attack ads, the speeches, and the misspoken moments played over and over again on our television screens. Sometimes it seems easier just to stay out of all the political drama that consumes our nation from now until November 2016. Here’s why you definitely shouldn’t:

Your voice is powerful. Speak up. Don’t rely on everyone else to make the decision for you. No, you’re not personally swearing in the next President of the United States, but if you think your vote doesn’t count you’re only fooling yourself. Our vote is our tool to affect change; we are given that rare opportunity and it would be foolish to waste it.

As young women, our votes will determine the outcome of life changing decisions having to do with our healthcare, education, women’s rights, equal pay, and social security. We reserve the right to vote in favor of the candidate who best represents our individual vision for positive change.

Voting is a Privilege. Wars are still fought in efforts to establish democratic nations. People around the world would kill for the opportunity to vote in democratic elections like we get to participate in as free Americans. Voting is in fact essential to our democracy (and our government), and in turn makes it stronger.

Women didn’t even posses the right to vote until 1920. Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Elizabeth Cady Stanton didn’t dedicate their lives trying to achieve suffrage for women so that we can sit home on Election Day! Go out and give these women, and so many more, the ‘thank you’ they deserve by casting your vote.

Vote buttons stack with red and blue colors

Stop the Excuses. You didn’t sit through months and months of election commercials for no reason. If you don’t think you “know enough” to vote, get informed. Knowledge is power. You don’t necessarily need to be a “politico,” you just need to become aware of the candidate’s platform on the issues you find really important. Currently, concerns involving gun control, abortion, education, gay marriage and immigration are hot button topics that can really sway your vote.

So you hate both candidates running? That’s cool. You’re entitled to your opinion, but my bet is you probably hate one candidate more than the other. So think of it like this, your vote un-casted is a vote that helps get that other candidate elected.

Voting all about taking responsibility; why let someone else decide what’s best for you? If you’re not registered to vote, get registered here.