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Election Year Resolution – “Make Your Vote Count”

It’s that time again – time to make your New Year’s resolutions. This being an election year, one resolution in particular is especially apropos – making your vote count. But how, exactly, do you go aout doing that? It’s easy. I’ll explain. First of all, it’s vitally important to understand that 2010 is no ordinary election year. The votes you cast this year will contribute to the enhancement or diminishment of your quality of life and that of every American for years, if not decades, to come. As America moves ever closer to outright socialism under the current administration, this year’s elections could prove the most important in recent electoral history. Will Americans reject the agenda of the socialist juggernaut in Washington and restore the conservative values that made this the greatest and most unique nation in the world or will it stay the course and allow big government to continue usurping power at the cost of individual rights and liberties? Well, we’ll just have to wait until this year’s votes are counted to know for sure. Secondly, voters must be aware that every election at every level – city, county, state, and federal – is important with regard to the future of not only individual communities but to America at large. Up for grabs are city council and county commission seats, state representative and state senator seats, congressional and some U.S. senate seats, and even a few governorships across the nation. Therefore, it is crucial for every voter to take seriously every potential vote he or she may cast during the upcoming year. Thirdly, it is never too early to begin thinking about the votes you’ll cast whether in this summer’s primaries or later in this fall’s general elections. Although 2010 is considered a mid-term election year in that the presidency is not to be determined, the votes you cast this cycle are no less important in that the very composition of state legislatures as well as both houses of Congress rests upon your decisions. Knowing, then, that the quality of your life will be affected by the votes you cast, how do you actually “make your vote count?” You should begin by thinking of your vote as an extension of yourself. Your vote should reflect your values and beliefs and goals for the future. When you view a candidate, do you see something of yourself? Do you see someone who possesses a similar set of ideas about life, family, God, country? Are the candidate’s background and life experiences somewhat similar to yours? Do you trust and admire the candidate? Next, consider the candidate’s preparation and motivation for holding the position sought. Is that person qualified to do the job? What qualities of leadership has the candidate demonstrated? What is the candidate’s educational background? What is his or her profession? Is there a history of service – community, military? Has the candidate overcome obstacles, faced difficult circumstances with strength and resolve, and endured in the face of adversity? Does the position serve the candidate, or will the candidate serve you in the position? What is the candidate giving up in order to serve? You should then ask yourself, “How does this person relate to the problems I face on a daily basis?” Does the candidate know “where I’m coming from?” Does he or she understand the common struggles associated with daily life – earning a living, taking care of family, providing for the future? Is the candidate a problem-solver as demonstrated by his or her life experiences and choice of profession? Finally, keep in mind the most important point of all regarding your vote – when you vote, you are voting for yourself, not the candidate. That is, you should cast your vote with a view toward improving your own life, not that of the candidate. If you vote for a person simply because you like him or her or because you’ve known them or their family for a long time, you diminish your chances of improving your own life through the electoral process. Every time you vote, ask yourself the following question: “What am I going to get for my vote?” If you don’t, your vote will tend to serve the candidate rather than yourself. Voting is an intensely personal act. When Election Day arrives and you step into the booth to cast your vote, remember that you owe allegiance to no one but yourself. Your vote should be about what you want and, therefore, should be cast for whom you believe most likely to deliver it. Voting is the one time when it is okay to put yourself first. Voting for a less-qualified candidate, regardless of the reason, diminishes the value of your vote and does more to enhance the life of the candidate than that of your own. So remember, this election year, vote for yourself in order to “make your vote count.” To contact Spencer, read his blog, or review an archive of his columns, please visit

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