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Opinion

You voted, now stay informed

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BY JAKE BULLINGTON

It’s Nov. 9, 2016. I wasn’t quite confident we’d make it to this point.

For many of us reading, this was our first time voting in a presidential election.

Since this whole newspaper you’re reading was published before most polls even closed, I can’t afford to predict the results in a ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ fashion.

But, what I can tell you is this: your vote mattered, even through all the “if (insert candidate here) wins, everything as we know it will fall apart” talk.

And depending on what you “know,” that may or may not be the case. I hope that you voted for your city council candidates.

I hope that you voted for your state house and senate races. I hope that you considered any ballot initiatives that were up for a vote.

Because those things, despite all the hype surrounding the executive branch, will by and large end up affecting your day-to-day life more than President Clinton or President Trump.

But your local elected officials will soon begin their newest terms, deciding things like state and local tax policies and whether to keep a local elementary school open. They could influence whether the local factory keeps its jobs in town or ships them abroad.

Your vote mattered because even as this is being printed, Iowa had the possibility of going either way. Your vote mattered because you most likely chose to keep Chuck Grassley in office another six years and David Young another two.

These members of Congress will make big decisions that affect all Iowans and the rest of the country.

You voted for city council, local judges, ballot measures and for the county sheriff.

Again, local government can make decisions on a small scale that can have big implications, no matter where you voted: either here in Polk County or across the country via an absentee ballot.

And if you didn’t vote, tough luck. You just put your trust in the decision-making of the masses, something the Founding Fathers weren’t initially keen on.

So, where do you go from here? You’ve done your part, you voted.

That’s more than what many of the 235 million U.S. citizens of voting age did, which is stay home. Only 58 percent of eligible voters turned out for the presidential election in 2012, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Now, use your free (yes, that’s correct) online subscription to the Washington Post and the New York Times provided by Drake.

Stay informed and know the issues that are coming to the desk of the president.

Voting is only half the battle—being an informed and active voice from today forward is what makes you an engaged citizen.

And for me: if I’ve learned anything this election and its countless mistruths and flat-out deceptions, it’s that the public and I don’t like being lied to.

I hope to see my fellow journalists keep our elected officials, no matter their party affiliation, to their word. Congratulations on making it to Nov. 9.

Buckle up. I’ll see you in 2020.

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