My friend Rebecca took me to my local polling place for me to cast my ballot.
I thought about adding “Bartlet for America” at the bottom of my ballot, but I had a feeling that my pop-culture humor wouldn’t go over well, possibly discounting my “real votes” and I wanted to make sure my voice was heard.
I think that sometimes we forget the importance of our voices being heard. The truth is, as Americans, we have the ability to share our thoughts, opinions, concerns, and gratitude well beyond Election Day. I believe that healthy living is more than nutrition and fitness; I believe that living a healthy life includes standing up what I believe in, and casting my vote well before, and well after, Election Day.
I’ve never marched in a protest, held a sit in, or picketed for a cause, but there are several other ways I’ve shared my voice on issues that matter to me. No matter your political affiliation, or what causes hit your heart the hardest, I encourage you to find ways to do so as well.
A handful of ways to share your voice on Election Day. Every Day:
1. Get passionate. What is going on in the world that tugs at your heart strings? What do you wish would change? What stories do you hear and that bring your tears, or to rage? Whose voice is being squandered that you can speak for? No matter the cause, and no matter your stance – find something that you are passionate about changing.
2. Get informed.When you find a cause you care about, check their website for a place to sign up for email newsletters, subscribe to their blog, or follow their twitter feed.Organizations these days are well versed in social media, and keeping yourself up to date on the celebration of successes and challenges they are facing can help you in forming your own issue opinions. Many organizations bring an ease to making a difference by asking subscribers to attend events, partake in a variety of drives, and unique fundraising opportunities.
3. Say something. When you see something you don’t agree with, say something. When you see something you do agree with, say something. Your voice does not become silent on the first Wednesday after November. Write letters to your local government, Congressman, Senator, and the President. Tell them why you think things need to change, or thank them for the changes they are making. People holding political office are supposed to act as a representation of their consituates.
4. Volunteer time. Find a need that touches your heart and do something about it. There are several resources on the internet to find a place to do some good. Contact representatives of the organizations you believe in to see what you can do to help. Or, try Volunteer Match, United We Serve, or Volunteering in America.
5. Think ahead. If you believe that your voice matters, then help your peers to know that truth. Talk to your friends and family about the importance of their voice, or become involved in an organization that helps register voters. Check out Rock the Vote, Declare Yourself voters. , and other organizations/campaigns that are dedicated to the importance of registering voters.