I’m a voter. You’re probably a voter too unless of course you are one of those rare K-12 students having The Lantern delivered to your (parents’) doorstep.
But think about that. We live in a representative democracy and as it is set up, your vote counts the same as President Barack Obama’s once he parks Air Force One outside of some Elks Lodge in D.C. and checks the box next to his name. Your vote also counts the same as a homeless man who defies the odds and registers and secures transportation to his voting location on Election Day.
The only gray area here is that as the election nears, certain states tend to separate themselves as more important in determining the race’s outcome. These are called “swing states.” The swingiest of the swing states, those that predict the election’s outcome more than 90 percent of the time, are generally called Bellwether states and Ohio is one of them. In fact, the candidate that has won Ohio has won the past 12 presidential elections – the longest streak of any state. In short, as Ohio’s vote goes, so goes the election.
Ohio is also generally indicative of how the rest of the country will vote percentage-wise. According to Smart Politics, Ohio’s vote for the winning candidate has only deviated an average of 1.3 points from the national count since 1964.
Simply, the average Ohio voter is a hot commodity.
Now, this elevated status Ohioans take on every four years should feel like a blessing and a curse simultaneously. Power. Responsibility. Spiderman.
Wear that information like a badge of honor and then get educated on the issues. While doing so, also be mindful of where the information comes from. Unfortunately, certain voices speaking on this election’s issues are misleading and provide voters with a shaky foundation on which to build their decision.
Saw it on a commercial? Bad source.
Read it on the candidates official website? Good source.
Took a Facebook quiz to determine who you align with? Go for it. It’s better than nothing.
Just be sure that when you step up to the ballot and grab the pen, hole punch, stylus, chalk, etc., that you know what you’re doing. It’s your job as an American and Ohioan.
Oh, and if you neglect your role as a voter, then you lose all complaining rights for the next four years. I mean it.