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Only 36 days remain before the crucial midterm elections that will help determine the direction of our country and the strength of our economy. With the primaries behind us, the candidates are set, and the lawmakers up for reelection have returned to their states and districts to campaign in earnest. But those vying for votes aren’t the only ones with work to do. It’s up to Americans to exercise their right to vote and educate themselves on the candidates and their positions. And it’s the responsibility of the business community to mobilize voters in support of pro-growth leaders.
For individuals, voting is a civic duty—yet history shows that voter participation typically falls to around 40% for midterm elections. The Pew Research Center concludes that when the presidency isn’t at stake, people are less likely to show up. But plenty is up for grabs in 2014—36 governorships, 36 Senate seats, and all 435 House seats. Control of the Senate also hangs in the balance, which could have a major impact on what does or doesn’t get done in the remainder of President Obama’s term.
To help voters understand all that’s at stake in this election, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched the most comprehensive voter education effort in our 102-year history. Our goal is not only to give Americans the resources they need to vote—information on voter registration, early and absentee voting, and key dates—but also the facts they need to make an informed decision. The Chamber has highlighted top issues, such as health care, energy, taxes, and regulations, and has scored lawmakers on how they’ve voted on the most important legislation. Voters can find a guide to all the races, broken down by state, district, and candidate, and more at VoteForJobs.com.
The Chamber also provides tools for the business community to get involved. We are calling on those who believe in free enterprise and economic freedom to help get out the vote. This week we are launching GOTV.VoteForJobs.com, an online action portal to help businesses communicate with their employees, friends, families, neighbors, and customers and rally them to participate in the election as educated and engaged voters.
The bottom line is that elections have consequences. The leaders we select to send to Washington and to state capitals will directly drive the policies that impact our lives and our businesses and help or hamper our economy and job creation. This is our chance to have a say in the kind of government we want and that our country needs—let’s take it.