Monday, October 8, 2012

Informed voting is necessary

By Makenzie Landis, Mast TV Multimedia Editor

Yes, you have the right to vote.  With that right comes an obligation to be informed, not only about candidates, but also about issues. 
Consider that in about a month, voters in Washington state will make decisions that will have an immediate impact on peoples’ lives, such as marriage equality, marijuana legalization and publicly funded charter schools.

This is our chance as voters to have a direct impact on democracy through informed decisions on the initiatives, propositions and referendums that bring those issues before us.

Being an informed voter is not always easy.   Trust me, I know. Policy platforms and agendas can be overwelming for a college student with exams, papers, and assignments piling up.

At the same time, we cannot be foolish enough to let our reasoned voices be replaced with the latest rhetoric of political commercials, extremist blogs or the newest talking heads.  Thus, our voices must be informed.

This election is important, but what’s more important is for voters to fulfill their obligation of being an informed voter.

Voting is one of the most important opportunities you will have as an American citizen. No pressure.
In the next few weeks you will have countless facts thrown at you. It is your job to decipher fact from fiction.

Don’t worry about how your family and friends vote. Try to find out who has your best interest at heart.
Avoid aligning yourself with a specific party. Their ideologies often cloud your thought process.

There may be no perfect candidate out there, but you still have to pick one. You have to make tough choices on difficult social issues. In both cases, only you know what is best for you.

Take a deep breath, count to three and cast your ballot.