What happens when you don’t vote?  People who don’t share your values are elected to office!

Our governments – federal, state, and local – may not always feel as responsive or as functional as we would like.  Voting is one important action for us to take in order to see decision-making bodies for the people. But, it’s not the only step. It is critical that we go beyond voting in order to ensure we create government by the people.

As you prepare to vote in this November’s election, identify ways that you can take your civic engagement further. There are many ways to have a say in how our democracy works outside of the ballot box. For example:

  • Meet with your local, state, or federal elected officials. Learn where they stand on issues that are important to you, your family, and your community. Ask them why they have taken certain positions. Listen and get to know them as people, not only as politicians.
  • Volunteer for an organization or campaign that you care about. You can forge new connections by actively participating in moving the needle on an issue close to your heart.
  • Share relevant articles on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)Help inform your networks on timely, relevant topics. This can create important dialogue and allow others, who may not have been aware of challenges impacting them, to wake up and get involved.
  • Host a gathering at your home to discuss issues impacted your neighborhood and/or communities. Encourage folks to bring a dish to share and an open mind in order to address opportunities to organize and see positive change that will benefit everyone.

We create thriving communities when we work together, through government, to have things like top-notch schools, first responders, streets, and public health. Everyone should vote, but everyone also has to take a step or two beyond that. Going beyond voting is the only way we are going to get a say in how things are run in our communities and our state.

Whether it’s your schools, the park you walk your dogs in, the roads you drive on, public health issues, the air you breathe and the water you drink, or our economy, our elected officials are making many of the decisions about our daily lives.

Note: this site is not sponsored by the NC Board of Elections.