Vote in All Elections The right to vote for our leadership is one of the greatest privileges granted to Americans by the Constitution. It is grounded in the faith that the collective judgment of “We the People” will enable us to choose the candidates that reflect our will. Our laws are made by members of Congress who are chosen by American voters. No one has more power than anyone else at the polls. Every vote counts. Voting is a form of personal empowerment. It gives you the opportunity to voice your opinion on issues that matter to you. Don’t assume that it won’t matter if you don’t vote. Elections are often won by slimmargins. Make your voice, and the voice of your generation, heard by voting in all elections . Visit vote.gov to get started. ❝ As young Americans, you have an important responsibility, which is to become good citizens. GEORGE W. BUSH , PRES IDENT ( 2001 - 2009 ) Voice Your Opinions Stay informed on national and local news as well as issues in your own state. Decide where you stand on issues and voice your opinion to those in leadership positions. Contact your elected officials when there are issues that matter to you. Even if you’re too young to vote, you represent the generation of the future; thus, your views matter. You can also write letters to your members of Congress and to the editors of your local newspapers.
ELEMENTS OF C I T I ZENSHI P
How to Be a Good American Citizen
W hether you are a natural-born or naturalized American citizen, you are living under a system of government based on fairness and freedom. It is based on the oldest written constitution in the world still in force. THE FREEDOMS AMERICANS ENJOY today were hard-won and must not be taken for granted. We must work for freedom and democracy to keep them working for us. By actively participating in your government at the national, state and local levels, you will help safeguard these freedoms. Are you a true citizen of the United States, or just a fortunate resident of this great nation? Along with the rights and privileges that we enjoy come responsibilities. Here are some of the ways you can be a good American citizen. If you honor these responsibilities, you and your generation will continue to enjoy the American heritage of freedom.
To find contact information for federal, state and local elected officials and government agencies, visit usa.gov/agencies .
Serve Jury Duty
Being selected to serve on a jury is the other side of the right of trial by jury, one of our most powerful freedoms. The framers of the Constitution were so concerned about unjust persecution and being convicted of crimes without due process that they addressed the right of trial by jury in the Constitution and in the Bill of Rights’ Sixth Amendment. This is why it’s so important to go to jury duty if you receive a notice. Citizens who dodge this responsibility erode the foundation we have against injustice.
ON VOTING DAY, VOLUNTEERWORKERS AT POLLING STATIONS give “I Voted” stickers to people after they vote. You may have seen selfies of people wearing the iconic “I Voted” stickers in your social media feeds. Many businesses offer freebies and discounts to wearers.
6 | HOW TO BE A GOOD AMER I CAN C I T I ZEN
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