As election day fast approaches it is important to educate yourself on everything that will be on the ballot. Yes, we need to focus on who will be the next president but we also need to focus on Congress, Senate, and your local government. The President cannot make any decisions or put anything into law without a vote from the Congress or Senate. Things cannot change in your community without your local government.

The current U.S. Senate has 54 Republicans and 45 Democrats (Including one independent). There are 34 seats up in 2016, of which 24 are held by Republicans. Democrats need to gain 4 to 5 seats to take control. All 435 House seats are also up for election this year. In order for the Democrats to take the chamber back, they will need to gain 5 seats in this 2016 election.

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It is important for you to educate yourself and get out there and vote. A lot of people complained that President Obama wasn’t doing enough, however, without the support of the Senate or Congress the President cannot do anything. So laws that will make things better can be vetoed. As in the case with Obama, they vetoed a lot of things just because of a personal hate for the man even though they were good ideas. They do not have the country’s best interest at heart. The President also chooses the Supreme Court Justice, which the position is very vulnerable right now after the unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia this past February.

Who you elect for your local government affects the community you live in. The local government you vote for such as the mayor that selects the police chief and the local judges are responsible for making sure that justice is served. So you can’t blame the President for why things aren’t getting done, blame yourself if you are not voting or voting effectively.

Early voting starts as early as Oct. 17. So in preparation for the election, you can obtain a sample ballot for your county, state online before you head to the polls. Don’t let the shenanigans of this Presidential fight get you distracted or discouraged about voting. Make sure you do your own research and get out there and vote. Also, don’t waste your vote on someone who will never be President. Yes, they may be a write in and you think they are good but they will never win the majority and you will have wasted your vote.

Link to find the sample ballot for your city, state:

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