Register to vote! Do it now! Register to vote!

When most of us think “September,” we think “Back to School” month, teachers, students and education.   September includes two other dates that are as central to the well-being of our state and country as that related to education. The first is Labor Day, the national holiday of end-of summer picnics and parades that recognizes all who are the backbone of our economic structure. The second, September 25, National Voter Registration Day is one that receives far less recognition and almost no publicity. It is a date, however, that urgently needs, if not a holiday with picnics and parades, at the least, a day of record breaking voter registrations.

As the November 6 mid-term election approaches, polls show that most Americans feel pessimistic about our country’s future. Even more of us are bone weary of political gridlock. It’s so easy to think, “My vote doesn’t count; I might as well just stay home.” Mid-year elections are ones in which voter turnout is pitifully small. If past experience is any predictor, far too many of us once again will fail to GET OUT THE AND VOTE!

Unless, that is, we choose to act: first, to help others become eligible to vote; second, to use the power each individual has in exercising the right to vote. With what’s now at stake in terms of jobs and wages, education, health care, and foreign policy, we cannot afford an election with lackluster turnout. We have the power to effect change. We just have to use it. Single votes adding up to overwhelming numbers can make a powerful difference.

Getting those numbers begins with the very small steps that can have great impact: if you aren’t registered, get going: find a Voter Registration event on September 25. AAUW is holding one at_________________.   If you know a 17 or 18 year- old, ask if she’s registered. If you work with a person who is new to the state and not registered, help him locate a Voter Registration site. The deadline for Voter Registration for the November  6,  2018 election is October  9th. If you have a few hours to give, volunteer to work at a Voter Registration site.   Educate yourself and others about the candidates; check out the facts on issues. Make plans to help get people to the polls; make calls; offer rides; whatever it takes!

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