By Alec Stone, MA, MPA,ONS Health Policy Director

So boring! This presidential election cycle has all but put me to sleep. No one says anything controversial. No one makes any wild claims. No one has any skeletons in their closet that have come to light. I am not even paying attention. Okay, that may not be true and, of course, it is so crazy out there that many Americans are turned off by all parties and candidates. This could have an impact on voter turnout, and fewer people going to the polls will have a direct impact on who is elected. Elections matter, and they have consequences. That is why it is important to vote.
Pick a party, pick a candidate, pick an issue. Your choice is not important to me, or others, as much as it is to vote. Participatory democracy is the most basic right of our republic. One person, one vote. An incredible concept, and one that still only recently has been fully extended to all Americans. By not exercising your right to vote, you relinquish your authority to be governed. Americans take this for granted, but most other countries literally die for this right.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but when nurses vote, their collective voice makes a difference. You speak for the profession, for the patients, and for your peers. That is why nurses continue to be the most trusted healthcare providers for 15 years in a row.
Vote your party affiliation. Vote your wallet. Vote your friends. Vote your conscience. But take the time to vote. Your vote does make a difference, and elections do matter.
So, vote on November 8, but what happens next? Join us at the 42nd Annual Congress for “Health Care in the New Administration: How ONS Can Continue to Affect Change,” and learn how you can make a difference in the new administration.
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