The right to vote enjoyed by U.S. citizens is special to constitutional republics such as our own. The U.S. Constitution zealously protects the right of Americans to vote on how government ought to be run. More importantly, men and women die to ensure that our government and our courts are able to facilitate free and fair elections. Make sure you exercise this precious right to participate in our democracy and to determine your future, and the future of those that you love.

Research from Stanford University indicates that people are more likely to vote if they’re reminded of their personal accountability and when they see the act of voting as something that’s part of their identity. Voting is fundamental to your identity as an American citizen and one way you can make a difference in your community. Registering to vote is fast, free and confidential. Find voter registration options in your state at this official website of the United States government:
Project VoteSmart; a place to start your research. Picture this: thousands of citizens (conservative and liberal alike) working together, spending endless hours researching the backgrounds and records of thousands of political candidates and elected officials to discover their voting records, campaign contributions, public statements, biographical data (including their work history) and evaluations of them generated by over 400 national and 1300 state special interest groups. Every election these volunteers test each candidate’s willingness to provide citizens with their positions on the issues they will most likely face if elected through the Political Courage Test.

This project is an historic undertaking. Citizens come together, not in selfish interest or to support one candidate over another, but to defend democracy. It is an extraordinary gathering of people committed to one purpose: to strengthen the most essential component of democracy — access to information.

The Sixth President of the United States said it best when it comes to responding to our obligation as citizens to vote in every local, state and federal election when he said “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” Every citizen’s voice in America has value. And, your vote is one clear/responsible way to make your voice heard, regardless of outcome. While it may not be entirely valid to say that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain; there is an essential element that rings true about exercising your duty to vote as part of the larger picture of participating vigorously in public debate.

Three essential habits of successful citizens

[alert type=”success”]They register to vote. “I found very strong evidence that people who vote tend to be highly altruistic, and people who don’t vote tend to be much more self-interested.” Richard Jankowski – Rationality and Society (Vol. 19, No. 1).[/alert]
[alert type=”info”]They do their research. “We can think of voting as an expression of the self-conceptIf I’m an American, and Americans vote, then the act of voting is an expression of who I am.” Kevin Lanning – Florida Atlantic University[/alert]
[alert type=”warning”]They vote their conscience. “America is a great country, and we’re great because people from so many different backgrounds can and do participate. That greatness is at risk when significant groups, in significant numbers, don’t participate as they could.” [/alert]