As we find ourselves amid a vibrant and eventful season, I want to take a moment to address a topic that is at the very heart of our mission as advocates for informed and engaged communities: the importance of voting. While we dedicate ourselves to promoting civic
participation on a larger scale, let’s also recognize the influence we can have within our own circles of family and friends. Here are a few tips on advocating for the power of voting:
1. Lead by Example: Be an inspiration by consistently participating in elections and demonstrating your commitment to the democratic process. Your enthusiasm can be contagious and encourage those around you to follow suit.
2. Start Conversations: Initiate respectful conversations with family and friends about current issues that directly impact our community. Share your insights on how voting provides an avenue for change and encourages decision-makers to address these concerns.
3. Share Stories: Personal stories can be incredibly impactful. Share stories of individuals whose lives have been positively influenced by policies or initiatives that arose from active civic engagement.
4. Highlight Historical Significance: Remind your loved ones of the sacrifices made by previous generations to secure the right to vote. Highlight key historical moments that shaped our democracy and emphasize the importance of continuing this legacy.
5. Clarify the Process: Sometimes, uncertainty about the voting process can deter people from participating. Explain the registration process, resources (candidate forums and ballot walkthrough events), and how to find reliable information about candidates.
6. Address Concerns: Listen to any concerns or skepticism your family and friends may have about the political system. Addressing their questions or doubts with patience and factual information can help build their confidence in voting.
7. Highlight Diverse Voices: Emphasize how every vote matters and contributes to a diverse tapestry of voices that shape local leadership. Mention how voting is a way to ensure representation for all members of our community.
8. Celebrate Civic Responsibility: Frame voting as a civic responsibility and a way to actively participate in decision-making. Encourage family discussions about the issues that matter most to them and how voting aligns with their values.
9. Offer Resources: Provide information about voter registration deadlines and credible sources for learning about candidates and ballot measures (in areas where they are relevant).
1. Voter Portal (votewa.gov)is a great resource to check for registration status. You can register to vote and update your name and address from this site as well.
2. Vote 411 (vote411.org) is another great resource that gives important dates and information submitted by candidates when the election gets closer.
In the spirit of our League’s commitment to empowering individuals and fostering a stronger democracy, let’s take these tips to heart as we engage with our family and friends. By advocating for the importance of voting on a personal level, we contribute to the momentum that leads to positive change on a larger scale.
Thank you for your dedication to our mission and your unwavering commitment to building a better future through active participation.
Lee Murdock, President
League of Women Voters of Yakima County