Elections and Voting

Our American heritage is threatened as much by our own indifference as it is by the most unscrupulous office or by the most powerful foreign threat. The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter. - President Dwight D. Eisenhower

The right to participate in free and fair election processes is a cornerstone of our nation’s democratic principles. These principles are manifested in the voting booths where Americans go to choose their leaders, and it is vitally important that Dade County residents go to the polls and participate in the process.

Voting is the main benefit of democracy but sadly far too few people vote. In the 2012 general election, nearly half of eligible Georgia voters -- 42 percent --did not cast a ballot.

John Quincy Adams once said, "Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

Here are just a few reasons to vote:

  • So you can decide. Why let other people decide what is best for you when you have a voice: the vote.
  • It's your right. Young people, women and underrepresented groups all fought hard for the right to vote. Even today there are countries where people are still fighting for the right to vote. Vote in honor of those who can't.
  • Representation - Does it seem as if politicians don't "get" you? Want politicians in office who represent your needs and concerns? Then vote.
  • Candidates support causes you care about: youth programs, the environment, new roads, better schools, local option sales tax to name a few. Find out where the candidates stand on these issues and vote for the ones that agree with you.
  • To cancel out someone else's vote. Whether it's your neighbor, your teacher, or somebody famous -- you probably know someone who is going to vote the opposite of you.
  • To bust the stereotype! Some adults think, "Young people are lazy, they don't care about their communities, they don't vote." Prove them wrong.
  •  If you don't vote, someone else will. Our government was designed for citizen participation, so if you don't vote - other people are going to make the decisions for you.
  • It's your money. The county commissioners, governor, school board, legislators, President and members of Congress you vote for will decide how to spend your money. Vote for those that agree with your point of view.  
  • Schools matter. You elect local and state school board members who set public education policy and budgets.
  • You'll need a good job. When you're done with school, you need somewhere to work and you'll want job training, pay equity, fairness in hiring, and workplace safety.  
  • Save the world. The air, the land, the water, we need them all.  
  • It's your backyard. Crime prevention, laws and law enforcement, safe and affordable homes, traffic patterns, schools, parks and recreation.
  • Don't let other people make your choices for you. Have a voice in the things that affect you!

“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” President Lyndon B. Johnson