It's a question asked every year, twice a year, by those who feel voting is one right that doesn't serve them well.  Depending on where you live in Washington State, you might think your voice doesn't matter, that your representative can't get anything done because the numbers are against them.

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In some cases, you might be right.  Washington State has been reliably blue for some time now, but that doesn't mean your voice matters any less or that your vote doesn't count... and I'll tell you why.

Government representation is kind of like a funnel, the farther down you go the more it narrows.  The "sexy" races are the ones that ultimately have the least amount of impact on you as an individual.  While all the attention goes to the Presidential Election, the President has less impact on your day to day life than your City Council members.

Photo by Obi - @pixel6propix on Unsplash
Photo by Obi - @pixel6propix on Unsplash
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This cycle will determine the composition of State Government more than anything else.  All State Reps are up and a portion of the State Senate.  You get to determine who represents you and your interests in Olympia.  Even if your elected official is not in the majority party, sending the right representative from your area involves you returning your ballot and exercising your right to vote.

You get to determine your local representation at the State level.  It is a responsibility all registered voters should take seriously.  Do your diligence, learn about the candidates asking for your vote, determine for yourself who cares about your community vs who cares more about supporting a predetermined agenda that may not have your community's best interest at heart.

When you narrow down what your vote impacts you'll find that it means a lot more and carries much more weight than you think.  When you don't vote you let everyone else decide for you.  Even if the election doesn't turn out the way you hoped, it doesn't mean your voice wasn't heard.  At that point you hold that elected official accountable for how they serve your community.

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Plenty of County races are also on ballots around the State and they are even more impactful to your daily life.  Fill out your ballot and put it in a drop box by 8pm.  It might be the most important right we have and the one we dismiss the most.  "By the people and for the people" only means something if the people vote.

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