With Florida's gubernatorial primary coming up on August 28, now is the perfect time to register to vote so you can not only choose the governor, but also the senator and members of the Florida House of Representatives. One of the things I looked forward to the most last year about turning 18 was being able to vote, but it has been worrying me that I have not seen many other young people interested in voting. I either see people say that they only care about presidential elections or that do not care about politics at all. Both of these sentiments are incredibly misguided because voting in midterm elections is just as important - if not more so - than voting for the president.
I can understand thinking that the race for president is the only election that matters because some people make it seem like the President of the United States is the only politician with significant power in our country. Even though the president is the leader of our country, the members of the House and the Senate are crucial to our government as well. In order for laws to be passed, they must have the support of the House, the Senate, and the president. Of course, the president can also create an executive order, which Congress does not have to approve, but in general, bills have to have congressional approval in order for them to become laws. It is critical to vote in midterm elections because, in order for you to actually see the changes that you want in our government, you have to vote in people that have the same views as you do. If enough Americans vote for candidates that are all members of the same political party, such as voting mostly Democrats into Congress, then there is the potential for massive amounts of change.
When the party that has control of Congress is the same party as the current president, it becomes much easier for legislation to be passed because the majority of the members have the same views as the president. However, the opposite is also true. If the president's opposing party has control of Congress, then there will be more resistance to any bills that members of the president's party introduce. You cannot expect to only vote for the president and see the change you want in the country, because the president can only go so far without support from Congress. This may be a good thing, depending on how you view the current president, so just be mindful of the power that your vote has and how you can influence the direction that the country goes. If you are opposed to the views that Trump has, then you should want to do everything in your power to vote in politicians that disagree with him and his party so that it would be harder for them to pass the legislation that they desire.
Arguably, one of the politicians that will be able to directly affect you the most is the governor of your state. The gubernatorial election should not be one you ignore, because the governor will be the one that can make huge changes to your state. Some of the responsibilities of governors include passing or vetoing bills, creating a budget for their state, and nominating officials to serve in state executive branch positions. You should vote for a governor that you believe in because then you will be able to see your vote truly making a difference in your own community.
Below, I will be linking some websites that will give you a rundown of each Florida candidate's platform so that you can make an informed decision this election season. If you are not yet registered to vote in the state of Florida, you can do so here. If you need an absentee ballot, you can have one mailed to you by clicking here.
Encourage your friends, family, classmates, and anyone else to vote because it is your way of making your voice heard in our government.