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Jamira Burley Headshot

An Open Letter to Undecided Voters

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Dear Undecided Voters,

There are many people who unfortunately think you don't exist but as many polls have indicated, you not only exist, you account for millions of likely voters (5-7 percent of likely voters). This is important to note because your decision could very well change the course of this election.

Over the last few months, we have all been drowning in this quicksand of TV ads, debate watch parties, emails, phone calls and political commentary in an effort to sway us across one political party to another. With just days to go, it's becoming extremely harder to decode every lie, half-truth and five-point plan to really get a clear understanding of who's in your corner.

I won't pretend as if I have no idea what candidate I'm selecting in November but what I will say is that my decision was not easy. Which is why I think it's important to remember that this election, as selfishly as we would like to think, is not JUST about you or your family but rather about a whole country of people who, like you, want to take advantage of the very principles that this country was found on.

LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!

They are your neighbors, classmates, coworkers, friends, and the men and women who pick up your trash and do your dry-cleaning. So even though your vote is a very personal decision, it's a decision which could impact everyone around you.

Now my job isn't to tell you who to vote for but rather to tell you how I went about selecting a candidate that wouldn't just represent my interest but also the interest of the country I care deeply about.

So, here's my guide for how to make the big decision.

What issues are important to you: Until you can say what issues are important to you, there is no real way to decide which candidate best represents those issues. Also history matters, meaning just because a particular candidate endorses a cause or issue today, doesn't really mean they're always telling the truth. So check their history -- what laws have they previously passed and or supported?

Do your own research: Use mainstream media as an outline for getting information, but not as your only source. So I urge you to do your own homework -- if there's a claim about a politician's speech search the web for the complete transcript and make up your own mind. Many people are in the business just to make money, sometimes at the risk of not telling the WHOLE story. #FactsMatter

Think long-term: Yes, the presidency is a four-year term but as many people have speculated that the next president could appoint two new Supreme Court Justices. Those appointments could have the power of causing much relief or damage to our everyday lives. So don't just think about the next four years, but rather the next forty.

Have clear expectations: I hate saying this but many people have no idea how the government works and therefore could develop overly-high expectations for what the president can and cannot do. Which is why it's important to have clear expectations going into the voting booth, so you're not disappointed 30 days later if all your hopes aren't fulfilled.

Hopefully, this was helpful in making your more of an informed voter, when selecting a candidate because voting isn't just your right but also your duty.

To find out more information about where candidates both locally and nationally stand on issues, please check out: November6th.org, which pulls a sample ballot for any address in the U.S.

See you on November 6th.