My senior year of high school, at Rogers High School in Puyallup, Washington, I had a teacher named Mr. Hodus for a class titled CWP - Current World Problems. This class was a history credit and the class was based around what was happening in the world at the moment we were in class. I graduated in 1991 so the war in Iraq was happening, as well as some major elections. Each month Mr. Hodus had a volunteer from the Board of Elections come to class and register anyone who had turned 18 that month to vote. Mr. Hodus taught the importance of having your voice heard and researching candidates and voting! My parents were also great examples for this as well.
I was proud when our oldest daughter turned 18 and was able to vote in the last presidential election. And our middle daughter will be 18 and can vote in the next presidential election. But it's not just the big elections that are important. While those tend to be the most exciting, it's the small ones like this year where we elect judges, and members of the Senate and House that really matter! I did my research. It's hard to find what is true and what is fed by opponents trying to sway your vote. I find Judges the hardest to research as they can't declare a party and you have to research their record. We also had Board of Education members and Water Officials to vote for. That was even tougher to find information for!
I prefer to vote during the early voting period which seems to be about 10 days before an election date. During this time it is not very busy and there aren't so many people in the parking lot trying to wave you down to convince you to vote for whomever they are volunteering to stand out in the weather for. I came prepared today with all the names I would vote for. Sample ballots are available online which is so nice! It took less than 5 minutes to check in, sign in, fill out my ballot, feed my ballot into the machine that reads it, turn in my pen and get back in the car. I was very disappointed that they did not have any "I voted" stickers! I love to put those on my scrapbook page for the month. And of course cameras are not allowed inside. So I took a picture of a sign outside letting people know they do not need an ID to vote (which would take a whole huge blog post lol) Rock the vote people! Please take time to research and vote. Your voice does make a difference!