Get Ready to Go Out and Flex Your Vote

• 

Advocacy Blog
hero symbol

Voting season is upon us. We can tell by the sun rising later and setting earlier. We can feel the breeze becoming more brisk as we enter fall. And we can see political ads everywhere we turn. It's time to Flex Your Vote

Your brain may be fried from political discussions or arguments. You may feel discouraged enough to give up and not vote. “What does it matter?” you may wonder. “I’m just one person. My vote doesn’t mean anything,” you may think. 

Well, think again. Voting is the foundation of advocacy. Our elected officials make decisions on everything from access to health care to how much money goes toward medical research. It’s up to each of us to make sure our voices are heard! It’s up to you to Flex Your Vote!  

Not sure where to start?

  1. Register to vote! 
  2. Not sure if you’re registered? Verify now!
  3. Pledge to vote on November 8, and encourage your friends and family to do the same!

Amanda Houston is a Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) 2014 Ambassador. She was diagnosed with stage II colorectal cancer, nine years ago at age 34. Shortly after Houston’s diagnosis, her mother was prompted to go in for her first colonoscopy and was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer. Almost 10 years later, both Houston and her mom are doing well with no evidence of disease. 

Beyond her role as Fight CRC Ambassador, Houston has been involved with the organization in various volunteer roles serving on the grassroots action committee (GAC), as Ambassador Mentor, and Social Media Volunteer. Houston has attended various Fight CRC events including Call-on Congress for several years. Below Amanda gives us her Flex Your Vote Top 7 Things to Consider and talks about why voting is important to her, and why everyone should exercise this right.

7 Things to Consider When Flexing Your Vote!

1. Voting Is Important!

The simple definition of democracy is government by the people. It is our elected official’s job to represent us. We must get out and vote and make our voice heard. Voting is my opportunity to use my voice to vote the way I want for candidates who I feel best represent me, my values, and views.  President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

Make a plan and Flex your Vote! 

2. Express Your Opinion and Values Through Voting.

Through the work I have done with Fight CRC, there are certain healthcare policies, research, and funding policies specific to colorectal cancer that I am grateful for. Fight CRC keeps a pulse on policies and issues, so I know when it’s time to act and tell my elected officials how their actions could affect me as a colorectal cancer survivor.

During elections it’s important to know where candidates stand on important healthcare issues that could potentially affect you as a cancer survivor. Things to think about are pre-existing conditions, access to clinical trials, the cost of prescription drugs – the list goes on. All of these things matter and either have been parts of bills in the past or easily could be in the future. You should want candidates in office who will protect you and keep your best interest in mind.

3. Voting for One Candidate Is Better Than Not Voting.

There is never going to be one candidate that you completely agree with 100%, so research a candidate and find one that represents your values and views as closely as you can. People often feel that their vote doesn’t matter, but there are many local and state elections that have been decided by just a few votes, so every vote counts! It’s YOUR vote, why wouldn’t you cast it?

4. There Is More Than One Way to Flex Your Vote.

Although you can vote by mail and in person, I vote in person at the polls. I enjoy the process and seeing others out voting too! I live in an area where there are not long lines and voting in person does not take that long. However, there are many reasons to choose to vote by mail. You can have your ballot at home and be able to take more time to look up a certain measure or compare and contrast candidates to ensure you are making the best choice that represents you. It doesn’t matter how you prefer to vote: in person or by mail. The important thing is to vote!

5. Be Sure to Prepare to Vote.

  • Know your polling place
  • Know what forms of ID they accept
  • Know your candidates
  • Be patient if there is a line
  • Explore the  mail-in option in your state

I typically visit my state’s information page on voting to see a sample ballot. This lets me know what my ballot will look like on voting day, so I know exactly what seats are open and who’s running. It will also let me know if there are any special measures to vote on. From there I can research candidates and issues, so I am as informed as I can be for voting day.  In my state, North Dakota, you do not need to register to vote, so there really isn’t much prep work aside from knowing where I am going to vote, making sure I have the proper ID, and knowing what is on the ballot.

6. Find Reliable and Trusted Information so You Can Flex Your Vote Confidently.

I always try to look at a variety of trusted sources. I typically start with the Candidate’s Campaign page to find out where they stand on issues. If it’s an incumbent, I sometimes will visit Congress.gov to see their voting history. There are a variety of ways to find out more information about candidates including calling the campaign office: Candidates want your vote, so they should be happy to answer any questions you may have about them or where they stand on issues.

7. The Best Part of When You Flex Your Vote Is...

The best part of voting is the sense of pride I feel about completing my civic duty.  

Tools to Make Your Life Easier

Fight CRC has all the tools and resources you need to Flex Your Vote at fightcrc.org/vote. Be part of the change you wish to see when you Flex Your Vote!

2 thoughts on “Get Ready to Go Out and Flex Your Vote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.