Thomas Jefferson once said, “We in America do not have a government by the majority—we have government by the majority who participate.”
So, if you don’t vote, you are leaving your government (not just in the public sense, but in the private as well) up to someone else. Sure, the person you vote for may not be elected, but they also may. And as we have seen in the Minnesota senate election from 2008 (the final margin was 312 votes) and the 2000 Presidential Election, it doesn’t take many votes to make a huge difference!
Then, since I have convinced you to head to the polls this November 6th, you should research your candidates. A great site to start with for the presidential election is http://2012election.procon.org/. If you want to invest a bit of time getting to know the candidates’ personal stories, Frontline has a great documentary on the two major party candidates.
To research more of the local Minnesota candidates, check out this link. Remember too that although the presidential election is big, bombastic and fun to watch, your local politicians are more likely to end up influencing your life directly.
As a note of caution, I would recommend that you not vote for someone based on their promises. All politicians promise things, and I don’t know of one that has kept every one of them. Their previous track record is a better indicator of what they will do, rather than their promises for the future.
Daniel Webster said, “There are men, in all ages…who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters… They think there need be but little restraint upon themselves…The love of power may sink too deep in their own hearts…”
So, research, research, research, and then vote! You can choose whether you’re part of the minority or the majority.