30 Minutes to Not Waste Your Vote

30 Minutes to Decide Your Vote for President (and Not Waste It)

I have an embarrassing confession today: I've made it twelve years of voting age without actually voting. Okay, I take that back. I voted once in our small town's local elections when my dad was running for mayor. (And he won, yay!) But I have never voted in a presidential election. Sad, I know.

I partly believed the lies that my vote didn't count. Mostly, I was afraid my vote would count, and I didn't know enough about government or politics or the candidates to make my vote count in productive ways. So, I avoided it. I faded into the background when anyone talked about it. And I conveniently kept my mouth shut as I avoided the polls on election day.

This election I was introduced to ISideWith.com. This is exactly what I've said I needed in order to vote, and whatdoyaknow, someone created it. It's a pretty thorough quiz of the big topics (and you can click an arrow to answer even more). You say where you side on various issues, and there's explanations for each for people like me who have a hard time following along with some of these issues. You can also toggle how important various issues are to you.

Then, it shows where your beliefs and values on those issues line up with each of the candidates. When I took the quiz a while ago, it even helped me figure out which party I am, because I just wasn't sure. I took it again today (because who I would have voted for when I took it last is no longer in the running), and I'm again impressed with how helpful it is in making sense of it all.

Now, at thirty, I'm finally going to do it. I'm finally going to vote. And what a year to step out of my my-votes-don't-count-but-crap-what-if-they-do box.

After the last debate I heard what I've heard many times before: That voting outside of the two candidates currently in the debates is wasting your vote. I like my husband's response: The only two ways to really waste your vote are to not vote or to not vote your conscience.

So, I'm not wasting my vote. When this election is over, I'll at least have peace-of-mind that I voted my conscience and that will be worth it. Don't waste your vote either. Take the quiz at ISideWith.com and within 30 minutes you could have a little more clarity on your own stance and where it lines up with all of the candidates (not just the two in tonight's debate).

Now I really need an Isidewith alternative for our local candidates. If you find something like that, namely for Nebraska, please let me know.

Happy voting!


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