An engaged spectator of the political process encourages voting

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I often ask myself, “Self – Why should I be interested in politics and government?” As someone who has spent many years actively engaged in Town Committee work for local and national campaigns, I do understand that, to some, it’s not the most desired use of those precious hours, or minutes, available in our busy lives.

Combine this boring factor with the ongoing climate of cynicism, controversial topics and combative media attention regarding government, and I suppose therein lies the reason that most of us feel generally disengaged or dour when the conversation turns to this looming election cycle.

I read a really interesting article by Jonathan Dolen, Professor of American Government at Grantham University. He pitched three reasons why people should be interested in politics and government:

Government and politics impact nearly every aspect of our lives.

Whether we like it or not, government plays a huge role in our daily lives, ranging from the amount of tax you pay for your morning coffee, to the types of light bulbs you’re allowed to purchase. Since we know that government impacts various choices we make, why not take the time to understand how the process works? Who makes these laws and how do they impact me? Having this understanding can help you determine the best course of action for yourself and your family, regarding a wide range of issues. (Most of which are more important than your coffee and light bulbs.)

Having knowledge of politics helps make you an informed voter.

It’s a well-known fact that many Americans don’t vote. In fact, a recent PBS news article found than even though the polls received record voter turnout during the 2016 presidential election, these totals still only amounted to 58 percent of eligible voters. For those who do vote, it’s important to go to the polls armed with the facts. Whether you’re voting for President or voting on a local candidate or ballot initiative, having the facts helps you make an informed decision on the issues. Reading newspaper articles about an issue or watching television interviews with a candidate can give you peace of mind that you’ve done your homework prior to casting your ballot.

Politics is entertaining.

While it might not be as entertaining as going out with your friends for a COVID-safe, socially distanced <50 of you outdoors on a Friday night, politics can be quite fun. Being a spectator of the political process during campaign season can be slightly more entertaining than your other TV binge watching. Is my candidate ahead in the polls? What was the latest candidate blunder?

Please spend time this year to look up from the busyness of life and take stock of what’s going on around you. As a dedicated and active member of the Granby Democratic Town Committee, I invite you to our website and Facebook page to get to know our local candidates. Also, consider attending some great events planned for these final weeks of the campaign season. 

Join us on Oct. 7 for a livestream VP Debate Watch Party, held outdoors with safe distancing and food service, to enjoy wide screen projection of the debate. 

The Granby Democratic Town Committee is also planning a Virtual Tour of the famous West Avon Flower House. Visit the website or Facebook page for more information on both events, and to register,

We sincerely want to educate you about our local/national candidates, entertain you through some of these events and most importantly get you ready to vote. No matter what—please vote. Exercise our amazing right as American citizens to vote and, if you are going with an absentee ballot, get it done early because your vote matters. 

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