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Do you ever notice ads or advertising for individuals who want you to vote for them? You've probably seen quite a few, especially when a new president is elected every four years. But have you ever stopped thinking about the process of voting and why it is important? Let's learn why everybody should vote, and how the way you live will change that.

An election is when leaders are picked by voters for public offices or jobs. For individuals who have local jobs, elections may be held. An example of a local leader is a mayor, who tries to help people living in their town or city make life easier. Elections for state and national officials, including the governor of your state, also take place. Where do people go to vote, then? There are polling places, which are mostly public facilities, such as schools or libraries, where people who live nearby can come and vote.

It can seem odd at first to see that we have different political parties. The Republican and Democratic Parties are the two major parties of the United States. They seem to be fighting over problems and arguing a lot. This may seem like a bad thing, but it's a good thing, actually. Getting various parties encourages various sides of topics to be debated and voted on. If we had just a single party, then the party leaders would decide everything and other ideas would not get presented and voted for.

Can you imagine a time when it was not allowed for certain groups of people to vote? Unfortunately, this occurred not very long ago in our country. Only white men were permitted to vote up until 1920. Women and African Americans, however, struggled for the right to vote, which is also called suffrage. It is important that we all recognize the people who fought hard to earn the right for women and African Americans to vote.

Imagine a school building, maybe the one where you are a student. Who wanted to build this building? Who decided that you will go to this school in particular? These decisions are made by local leaders. You get to have a say in who these leaders are when you vote. You may also select state and national leaders who make laws that enhance the lives of individuals living in their country. That is why voting is so important!

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