Originally published by VotoLatino here.
With Mitt Romney seemingly edging towards an inevitable nomination, why should we care what happens in today’s primary races? There are a number of reasons why the races in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Wisconsin matter, but here are just a few to get you started:
1. Even if Mitt wins, your vote will still be noticed. Although Mitt is predicted to take all three races and go over the halfway mark in delegates after today, every political strategist, campaign advisor, pollster, and pundit is going to analyze who voted and how they voted. If you don’t show your muscle in the primaries, your concerns will not be considered during the general election. Do you think political candidates ignore Latino issues now? Refuse to vote and they really won’t care once they’re elected.
2. Local elections are just as important as national ones. Despite what the national media may have you believe, the national primary for the Republican presidential nomination isn’t the only game in town today. Even Democrats will have the chance to vote for local council-members in D.C. There is the possibility that one of the first Latina elected leaders of the Republican Party will be chosen as well, while more than eighty local judges will receive voter approval in Maryland and Wisconsin. Although it’s often hard to attribute which national policies affect us, how they affect us, and when they will affect us, how your local tax dollars are spent on infrastructure, schools, housing, hospitals, fire and safety, etc. will affect your everyday lives today. Since most judges are actually elected officials, how they run their court is generally dictated by how we vote as well.
3. People would die to be you. We have become so accustomed to our rights in the U.S. that we often forget where the idiom “blood, sweat, and tears” originated. Our forefathers offered their lives and their fortunes just so that their voices could be heard. Many others around the world aren’t so lucky and either lack the right to vote or live in oppressed and corrupt societies where voting has little impact. If we take our right to vote for granted, we may lose it altogether.
Sometimes our senses become dulled by the daily media barrage of politics that cause us to forget the meaning of even the smallest of races, but Election Day is always relevant as long as we continue to vote. Register to vote today or lose your relevance tomorrow.
Justin Vélez-Hagan is the National Executive Director of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce and an international developer of senior living facilities. He is also the Sr. Contributing Writer for Politic365 and can be reached at JustinV@NPRChamber.org or @JVelezHagan.