In 1848, women began their fight for equal rights. These women, the Suffragettes, demonstrated, lobbied, and risked their lives for 72 years until the Nineteenth Amendment passed, giving women the right to vote. Those women earned it.
Fast forward nearly 100 years, and we’re in one of the craziest elections in history. There are more millennials eligible to vote in this election than any other age group. The candidates are using any method possible to reach these voters and put down their opponent. It has become mass chaos. Between the likes and shares, it appears the majority of my friends have lost sight of what actually matters.
Thankfully, I was raised to understand the importance of the individuals we elect to represent us, at every level. Elections are more than just the mud-slinging and press and viral videos, and you need to look past it to truly understand and earn your right to make a decision.
I earn my right to vote by understanding where I stand on the issues.
If you’re voting based on how your parents, friends, or significant other are voting, you’re wrong. In fact, the only time it’s okay to do something because someone else is doing it is when you buy army pants and flip-flops because you saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip-flops. You need to know where you stand on issues from immigration to ISIS and education to gun control before you pick who you’d like to hire as president. Check out isidewith.com to see how your beliefs align with the candidates’ views.
I earn my right to vote by trusting valid news sources.
Whoever said Facebook Timeline was the new CNN was seriously disturbed. No, Hilary did not sell weapons to ISIS, and no, Donald Trump is not on speed. America is not run by the Illuminati, and your children will not develop Autism from being vaccinated. News can be depressing and boring, but the only way to get a true sense of the climate of the country is to actually pay attention. What little news actually makes it to Facebook before coming terribly distorted just doesn’t do it. Subscribe to a newsletter or alerts to get the highlights each morning. I subscribe to theSkimm, and I’m obsessed. It breaks down what you need to know every morning with a hint of pop culture references. They even have an election guide with summaries of all issues and interviews with the candidates. Sign up here: www.theskimm.com/?r=2B1N0.
I earn my right to vote by actively listening to the debates.
Okay, we get it, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are adorable with the dog filter. Now, how adorable are they when they discuss education reform and the economy? You can catch the debates in their entirety on YouTube.
I earn my right to vote by registering and making time.
No excuses. You need to do it and do it soon. Register to vote and learn more about local election candidates on www.rockthevote.com. After your registered, you may have the option to skip the lines and the hassle on election day and vote early.
I’m not perfect. I am a young, educated woman with a heck of a lot of student loan debt. I know where I stand when it comes to hot topics like gun control and abortion. I sat through every painful minute of the Presidential Debates (I prefer Trump with the flower crown). I’ve become obsessed with reading the news every morning, and I watched the sun come up in line at the DMV in order to get registered to vote. I earned my right to vote, and I cannot wait to get the opportunity to make a choice. See you at the polls November 8th!
Photo courtesy of Kheel Center via Flickr