Every year in DECA chapters across the world, students stand before their fellow members and promise to lead with strength while fairly representing all members. At the end of the thoughtful and genuine speeches, candidates will ask for the audience’s vote. The DECA members then ponder over the candidates and check the box next to the name they would like to see in the position.
Though a great model of democracy, the root of elections stretches past the foundation of DECA in 1946. The first record of democracy is in Ancient Greece as early as 508 B.C. Just as the Greek citizens gathered to cast their ballots, you, too, have the right to vote – in your chapter and your community. From the foundation of the United States, voting has been a highly regarded practice. As an engaged citizen, it is your responsibility to elect our nation’s leaders, from local to federal officials.
This November, general elections will take place. A general election is an election in which candidates are elected to office. This is in contrast to a primary election, which is used either to narrow the field of candidates for a given elective office or to determine the nominees for political parties in advance of a general election. Because of the importance of general elections, it is imperative that every eligible citizen vote. As of 1971, with the 26th Amendment, the United States voting age is eighteen. After reaching the minimum age, research the steps to participate in the voting process with the following resources:
- Discover how to vote in your state
- U.S. Election Assistance Commission
- Your state’s Secretary of State Office
For certain U.S. states, youth as young as sixteen can pre-register to vote. Check to see if you live in a state that is eligible for pre-registration.
After registering to vote, research local poll locations, schedules and each candidate running. Be prepared to stand in line for your turn to vote on Election Day (Tuesday, November 8, 2022) or seek the availability of early voting. If you are eighteen, this election season can be your start to a lifetime of responsible citizenship. If you are not eighteen, you can still research, prepare and be ready to cast your ballot when the time comes. Voting is a privilege—Use it!