Jill Alonge, Executive Director of the Ocean Reef Chamber of Commerce Weighs in on the Importance of Voting
Throughout the course of the history of the United States, voting has been an important right for many, especially for those who had to fight for their right to do so. Despite this, many do not take advantage of our right to vote. Throughout Florida, thousands of people are not registered to vote – meaning that thousands of Floridians do not have their voices heard every election cycle. This number is in the millions at the national level. That is unfortunate since voting can shape the future of the country and is the best way for people to ensure that their voice is heard and that their interests are represented.
Many people don’t register to vote because they forget, they think it’s too complicated or time-consuming, or they have moved and just haven’t updated their voter registration. Luckily, it is simple to register to vote and update your voting address. The easiest way to register to vote is online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov.
I was proud to join the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Wins, BIPAC and dozens of other local chambers and associations nationwide in participating in Employee Voter Registration Week during the last week of September. Employee Voter Registration Week is an effort to make a dent in the number of unregistered citizens across the country and promote overall voter education. During this week, companies and associations joined together in an effort to encourage voter registration among private sector employees. The point of the effort wasn’t to tell employees how to vote or who to vote for. Instead, it aimed to serve as a resource to help employers educate their employees about the issues that are important to their industries and provide key deadlines, voter registration, and polling location information.
Our collective efforts added hundreds of new voters across the country and brought attention to the need for people to be registered to vote. While the next election is still more than a year away, it is never too early to register to vote. Talk with your employees about why it is important to vote, hold a registration drive tied to a local, state or federal election and work to lower the amount of unregistered voters in Florida.
Registering to vote and getting to the polls can be a hassle when one has their own life to worry about. However, it is absolutely crucial that more Floridians, and Americans, not only register to vote but take the time to have their voices heard. The future of our country is intrinsically tied to it!
Authored by Jill Alonge is the Executive Director of the Ocean Reef Chamber of Commerce