It’s my favorite time of year! Election time!

You were probably anticipating me to say that Halloween is my favorite time of year. While I thoroughly enjoy trick or treating, carving pumpkins and all the activities that surround the holiday, I find election day to be much more exciting.

Every single election day each citizen in the country has the perfect opportunity to create a better future for our communities, country and our children. It is the most single patriotic thing we can do for our nation.

To me, there is something invigorating and inspiring about seeing people line up at the polls and casting their votes. It is the one day every single American can peacefully meet at a location and promote their differentiating ideas and opinions.

The very first election I participated in was President George W. Bush’s second election. For his first term, though, I had just decided on my political science major (I switched from pre-med, but that is a story for another time). And, I had just joined my college’s political science team.

We all met at a restaurant/bar right off campus and watched the entire election unfold. It was incredibly exciting to watch all of results from each state come across the screen and it was fascinating to realize not only did I understand what was happening, but I also knew quite a bit about the candidates.

A few years later I enlisted in the United States Navy. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve. Most days I’d give anything to deploy just one last time. I know that serving is an immensely patriotic thing to do, as well. There is something profound about adhering to a creed and serving for something beyond yourself. However, this doesn’t hold a candle to possessing the ability to vote.

Possessing the ability to vote goes beyond the ability to participate in presidential elections. It reaches to every single individual citizen and gives them the power to effectively change the world in which we live.

I have the ability to effectively change how the village I live in is governed - ensuring that pertinent issues are addressed; that the community offers opportunities and activities for kids to keep them occupied; that tax payer money is used appropriately and to decide what levys will best serve the community as a whole.

This expands to the ability to choose how effectively the county is governed and it expands even further to the state and how the state is represented and served at the national level.

The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920. I will forever treasure this amendment - because of it I get to vote. To honor the legacy of the many women who fought for it, I will forever vote.

Perhaps, you are thinking to yourself, “there is no one I would vote for” or you believe that all politicians are crooked. I encourage you all to re-frame how you approach politics and voting, because I can assure you there are people who genuinely care about serving their communities. Election Day is November 2, please vote and if you aren’t registered, please do so and exercise your right!