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On Nov. 6, millions of U.S. citizens across the country will have the opportunity to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of representatives and 35 out of the 100 Senate seats are up for reelection.

Here in Idaho, besides voting for our U.S. representatives, we get to vote for a new governor, lieutenant governor, state house and senate, local judges and other local government officials.

Participating in elections is a blessing for citizens of this country. However, many citizens don’t vote. According to PBS, in the 2016 presidential election, only 58 percent of all eligible voters cast ballots. In the 2014 mid-term elections, a mere 36.4 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. The Pew Research Center reported the U.S. trails most developed countries in the world when it comes to citizens voting.

So, why don’t U.S. citizens vote? No one fully knows. The reasons for not voting varies from person to person. Some don’t vote because they believe their votes won’t matter. For example, if a conservative citizen is living in California or a liberal citizen is living in Idaho, they feel their votes don’t count since they are political minorities.

Others don’t vote because they believe voting won’t change anything. Politicians will always lie. Congress may always be corrupt. The rich will get richer while the middle class will continue to dip in the lower class. Taxes will rise for the middle and lower classes while the rich continue to get tax cuts. Our prison populations will continue to rise.

The federal deficit and national debt will get worse no matter who controls Congress and the White House. With the tax cuts and increased spending bill passed by Republicans in December, they cut government revenue by $1.3 trillion from 2018 to 2028 and increased the federal deficit by 21 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office back in April. Right now Republicans are looking to pass a second round of tax cuts that would add more to the federal deficit and national debt.

This list goes on. People wonder why they should even bother voting when nothing changes. They’re wrong. Every single citizen who can vote should because that is how things change in this country.

Voting matters. We don’t get to vote on every law and policy that our government leaders pass, but we do decide if those leaders should stay in office. If our leaders, who represent us, don’t vote with what we believe is right, we should vote them out, regardless of political party.

If someone is fiscally conservative and disappointed with Congress for passing laws that would grow the federal deficit, then they should vote their Congressman out. If they’re disappointed in their senator for how they voted on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, they should vote them out.

The opposite is the same. If someone approves of the tax cuts, its consequences and approves of they way their senator voted on Kavanaugh, then they should vote to keep those politicians in.

We should not vote solely due to political parties. Political parties don’t matter. Every few decades they change. Before the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, Democrats were conservative and Republicans were liberal. After the Act was passed, both parties switched ideologies to what we see today.

We as U.S. citizens should vote our conscience and not for a political party. Voting for a candidate just because they belong to a certain political party is wrong. This midterm election, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum, your conscious should come before your political affiliation.


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