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I’d like to keep this short and sweet since I’m sure you’re probably getting inundated with “I voted” anecdotes. Voting is an incredible right and privilege that we as Americans get to partake in. I take voting seriously and have voted ever since I turned 18 in 2004. I don’t just vote in Presidential elections. I vote in Florida Gubernatorial elections and Sarasota city and county commission elections. Voting is important to me.

Let’s shift to this year. Regardless of how you feel about any of the Presidential candidates (I won’t go into a tirade about how we need to abolish the bi-partisan system and allow all parties registered for the general election to have equal presence. Wasn’t the whole tipping point of the American Revolution taxation without representation? More parties need to be represented. But I digress.), I encourage you to go out and vote for the candidate you feel would do the best job for you and your family. YOU and YOUR FAMILY. That’s something new to me this election cycle. For the past 12 years, I’ve only had to think about myself and how my vote may have repercussions for me. This year is completely different. This year I have to consider the ramifications of whom I cast my vote for on my children.  I feel as though I have so much greater responsibility and pressure to make the right choice so my kids aren’t adversely affected. I’m not just talking about the Presidential election either. The state and local elections will play an even more direct role in Maddox and Kaelynn’s quality of life. It’s heavy, man.

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Anyways, as I’ve struggled with the decisions of whom to vote for, I still did just that: Voted. It sounds cliché, but your vote really does count. So go out and vote. Vote for yourself. Vote for your family. Vote for your significant other. Vote for your children. Just vote.

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Regardless of the outcome of the election, I’m sure I speak for most of you when I say I’m glad the wall-to-wall media coverage and constant political ads are over. It’s been ugly, but hopefully we can get back to our roots and remember what it’s like to be united as a country. For our children’s sake.

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