By Michael Givens | September 18, 2018 | 3 Minute Read
Saturday, September 15th marked the 10-year anniversary of the International Day of Democracy (IDD), a worldwide observance acknowledging the importance of democracy around the world. This day is an affirming reminder of the power and privilege that comes with being able to vote and participate in shaping the leadership of our state, as well as our nation. Everyone’s voice is important and they go a long way toward impacting who our leaders are and the laws they pass that impact our day-to-day lives.
This year’s International Day of Democracy resonates strongly with Eastern Bank’s commitment to raising awareness around three key issues leading up to the midterm elections on November 6th: Yes on 3 (in support of the LGBTQ Public Accommodations Bill), taking part in the immigration and DACA discussions in our country, and celebrating the women running for office. Regardless of where you stand on these issues, the importance of practicing the right to make your voice known and heard is crucial for any American citizen.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2016, roughly 58 percent of countries in the world have a democratic government. Among the 38 nations that were polled, the concept of democracy and democratic values was quite popular. “…majorities in each of the 38 countries polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country; majorities in nearly all of the surveyed countries said the same thing about direct democracy.”
A cornerstone of democracy has been the concept of “one person, one vote,” or the principle that every legal citizen’s vote should be equal under the law. In Massachusetts, the primary elections were held on September 4th for a range of offices, from state elected officials to members of Congress. The same is true in New Hampshire, which had its primary election on September 11th. The midterm elections will take place on Tuesday, November 6th across the nation.
“Suffrage that is equally accessible to all Americans is the very backbone of our democracy,” said former Center for American Progress researcher Scott Keyes.
If you’re unsure about whether you’re registered to vote, visit the Secretary of State’s website in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, depending on where you live. The deadline to register in Massachusetts is Wednesday, October 17th; and in New Hampshire, unregistered voters can register to vote from now until election day.
You can find your polling location in Massachusetts by visiting WhereDoIVoteMA.com and filling out a brief form, which will let you know exactly where your polling location is. In New Hampshire, the Secretary of State’s website offers an easy-to-use search function that also provides a quick way to discover your polling location.
Why vote? Our collective votes place elected officials in leading roles to determine the laws that shape our states and communities. They also help determine the funding levels for the services we all use such as our schools, the maintenance of our roads and bridges, and our public transportation systems. Ballot initiatives in each state also allow the public to vote on certain laws and policies that impact our lives.
In Massachusetts, there are three ballot questions that focus on:
- The number of nurses assigned to patients in our hospitals
- Whether to address the issue of corporate spending in elections
- Legal protections for those who identify as transgender
In New Hampshire, there are two ballot questions addressing:
- The right to privacy and freedom from interference from the state government
- Whether taxpayers may sue the state of New Hampshire for misuse of public funds
Your vote will go a long way in determining the type of communities our friends, families, and coworkers live in. Join Eastern Bank in honoring International Day of Democracy and commit to exercising your right to vote and help build our collective futures!
Register to vote and make your voice hear during the November 6th election!