Same-sex marriage, voting rights, gun control, abortion rights, marijuana legalization -- you probably have pretty strong opinions about these topics, right?
Well, this Tuesday (November 4), you'll get the chance to make your voice heard on many of these issues, and more, during the 2014 midterm elections. That is, if you actually show up.
A depressingly low percentage of eligible citizens in the United States even cast a ballot during the 2010 midterm elections: 36.9%, according to the Pew Research Center. While the 53.7% voter turnout during the 2012 presidential election and 2008's 57.1% aren't that great -- let's be real -- there's still a marked drop-off in overall turnout when the ballot lacks a presidential candidate.
And that should not happen.
In June 2008, the Supreme Court of California ruled that barring same-sex couples from getting married violated their constitutional rights, and same-sex marriage was legalized in the state.
That right was taken away in November, however, when a narrow majority of Californians voted for Proposition 8 in the 2008 presidential election. The ballot proposition, commonly abbreviated to Prop 8, reversed the California Supreme Court's prior decision, and same-sex marriage was effectively banned in the state until 2013, when, after a lengthy legal battle, denying same-sex couples the right to get married was, once more, declared unconstitutional in the state.
If voter turnout had been higher in 2008, perhaps history would have been different.
While there are no propositions or measures related to same-sex marriage in the 2014 midterm elections, ones relating to marijuana decriminalization and legalization, gun control, abortion access, fracking and other important issues are.
Do you want to play a part in how those decisions get made? Then go vote on Tuesday. It's literally not that hard. And you'll also probably get a sticker. Just do it.