Why We Vote.

I remember the first time I was able to vote. It was a big deal! Yes, there were lines and you had to wait for your turn. But people were friendly, chatty even. There was an overall good feeling at the polling location. A kinship of sorts.

When it was finally my turn to check in and enter the voting booth, I felt a little scared about doing things wrong. Then not scared. Then down to business. I’d written down my choices before getting there which made it super simple.

Dropping my ballot in the box, pasting the “I VOTED” sticker on my collar, I walked out past those still waiting in line. I felt good. Proud. Part of the democratic process.

All these years later, voting still makes me feel good--- whether going to a polling place or dropping my ballot in the mail.

That’s why I feel two different responses to the various dismal statistics about voting: That Utah ranks 39th out of 50 states in percent of voting age population who actually votes. That out of all Utah’s registered voters, nearly three out of ten haven’t voted in the last two general elections. And nearly 300,000 Utah women of voting age are not registered.

My first response is amazement, that so many people feel so disconnected, cynical, or uninterested toward such a fundamental right and a shared responsibility when we live in a democracy. And my second response is to find a solution to the problem and to help more of those eligible to register to vote, to be fully informed and to have a plan for voting day so that they can share in the satisfaction of voting. Every vote truly counts.

Why aren’t more people voting? We’ve all heard people say, “It doesn’t matter,” “There’s no real choice,” “They’re all the same,” “My vote doesn’t count anyway.” How can we change that?

We are all part of the greater electorate and our vote counts. Elections do get decided by a single vote! We saw that happen down South within the past couple months.

I want to get to the heart of every roadblock that citizens encounter in trying to register to vote. I want to work with each of our counties to make sure voter registration is given the high priority it deserves. And I want to make sure that the mechanisms of actually voting - whether that’s through mail-in ballots or polling locations - are readily accessible to each and every one of our citizens in District 73.

All our voices count. Registering to vote is the first step in making sure your voice is heard.

See if you are registered to vote today - http://voterise.org/take-action/am-i-registered-to-vote