Op-ed by Rep. Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, the Assistant House Majority Leader. He is serving his second term in the Legislature and is running for Congress.
On November sixth, Mainers will have a chance to shape their futures when we all go to the polls and vote.
Voting is one of the most important actions we can take as Mainers and as Americans.
It is the quintessential expression of our freedom – and one that many people have dedicated their lives to protecting. I’m not just talking about my fellow veterans; I’m talking about all the first responders, teachers, advocates, civil servants and organizers who together ensure that all of us – not just a privileged few – can choose the leaders and the policies we think are best.
When we all vote, the results of our collective action can change the direction our own lives take, as well as the lives of our neighbors, our friends and our family.
This has never been truer than it is right now.
You will see a lot of names on your ballot, but the issues behind those names tell us just how high the stakes are.
Access to affordable health care and prescription medicines is on the ballot.
A fair tax code that puts you first – and not the wealthiest people, the most powerful corporations and the most connected Wall Street moguls – is on the ballot.
Medicare and Social Security are on the ballot.
Property tax relief for seniors and others on fixed incomes is on the ballot.
Our rural hospitals and nursing homes are on the ballot.
How we fight the opioid crisis is on the ballot.
Our kids’ schools are on the ballot.
Our roads and bridges are on the ballot.
A living wage for all working people is on the ballot.
The right to organize for fair pay and good benefits is on the ballot.
Taking on climate change and supporting renewable energy are on the ballot.
It’s all there, and we get to decide what kind of state and what kind of country we are going to be.
Now - there will always be people who will try to convince you that your vote doesn’t count or doesn’t matter.
Don’t believe them for a second. Every vote counts, and every vote adds up. When you choose to be a voter, you are joining with your entire community to build the world you want to see.
Just days from now, we have a chance to say unequivocally that we are a people who stand shoulder to shoulder and stick up for each other when times get tough.
I’ll be voting on November sixth, and I hope you will too.