A routine post office run last weekend brought the importance of voting in the upcoming election sharply to the forefront for me: My older son paused next to a stack of Selective Service brochures and asked, “What’s Selective Service?” I explained that it was the draft, and that’s when it hit me: Whomever we elect as our next President would be in office and calling the shots (quite literally) when my sons were of age.
Add that to a long list of reasons why I am registered to vote, why my vote is important, and why I will make my voice heard on November 8. I hope you will too.
But odds are, many of you won’t. In 2012, only 46% of eligible Millennials said they voted. Right now, of the more than 69 million voting-age young adults, only around 50 million are registered. That’s why Parents is joining with more than 50 other magazines and web sites serving young women for #OurVoteCounts, a partnership with the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization Rock the Vote in which we aim register at least 100,000 women. (Already registered? Pledge to vote and Rock the Vote will send you updates and reminders as the election nears.)Today is National Voter Registration Day. The voter-registration window slams shut in my home state of New York on October 14, and earlier in other states. So if you’ve been putting it off now is the time. Register below.
The list of reasons you might find it hard to register or to get to the polls is long. Maybe you’ve moved and haven’t had time to reregister. Perhaps you’re juggling a baby and toddler and can’t envision having time to pack everyone up and go vote. Or maybe you keep hearing about “battleground states” and don’t live in one…and so feel as if your vote doesn’t matter (wrong!) Or perhaps, you’ve just forgotten. After all, if Ivanka Trump can forget to register then so can you. But it takes only two minutes, and voting could change history.
The next person in the Oval Office could be there for as many as eight years and leave behind policies that linger long after a future White House tenant moves in. As moms we are voting not just for ourselves but for our children, their future. Our next leader will impact not only our access to good jobs and maternity leave, but also the affordability of our childcare, the quality of our kids’ education and our access to health care…the list goes on and on. (Wondering what fellow moms consider the most important factors in the coming election? Read this Parents survey.)
The point of democracy is that each of us has a say—and a vote. Use yours to help decide the future for our kids. Ask your friends—women and men—if they’re registered, too. Tell them #OurVoteCounts.
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Dana Points is the Editor in Chief of Parents and a mom of two.