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VOTE! – Guest Blog post by Drake Bentley

Your right to vote has been tested in the past, and– history has shown—even removed for a select few. People of all colors and creeds have faced opposition in just exercising their American-born right to punch a ballot.  We must remember that many struggled to uphold this strongest democracy in the world. Whether you are content with an incumbent or want to make a change, a single vote is the strongest power in controlling which direction our country moves; sometimes we forget but we must remember it is the American citizen who decides who will hold ‘their’ office(s).

The country’s partisanship has unfortunately grown stronger and many are faced with deciding either red or blue. I would be a naive not to admit that this year’s presidential election will either be won by Democratic Party Presidential nominee and incumbent President Barack Obama or Republican Party President Nominee Mitt Romney , but that limited choice doesn’t mean your vote has to go to either of these candidates. Wisconsinites will also see other candidates on the 2012 ballot for president including Virgil Goode, Constitution Party nominee, and independents Gary Johnson, Gloria La Riva, Jerry White, and Jill Stein. Voters can also write-in any names of their choosing.  Likely  write-in’s this year will be Rep. Ron Paul and the always popular Mickey Mouse. Although voting for an alternative might not lead to a success, it does not degrade your right to put your support where you’d like and participate in democracy.

Not only is it important to be a voter on Election Day, November 6, 2012, but everyone should strive to be an informed voter. We all become tired and annoyed by mid-September during an election year, but ignoring twisted and biased advertisements and blog posts and really following the issues is what every American needs to do. This presidential election is going to be close and the issues at hand in the next couple months have never been more important–issues including the pending expiration of the United States budget and tax cuts set to expire at year’s end, otherwise known as the ‘fiscal cliff’.  Social issues such as abortion rights, gay marriage, and immigration reform will also be in the spotlight in the next year or two. These concerns are important to everyone, and who you vote for will be those tasked with solving the issues. The Wall Street Journal has a great site  where you can see where Governor Romney and President Obama stand on numerous issues from education to war.

Wisconsinites will be voting for a President on Tuesday, but also will decide many congressional and local races, including the highly watched U.S. Senate race between Democrat Representative Tammy Baldwin and Republican Former Governor Tommy Thompson. You can find a sample of the 2012 Wisconsin ballot at Government Accountability Board website, polls will be open 7:00AM – 8:00PM on Tuesday November 6th, 2012. You’re an American.  The power is in you YOUR hands….VOTE!!

Written by: Drake Bentley, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater – Class of 2014

About Jolene Check

Marketing Specialist for the College of Business and Economics.
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