FROM THE HILL
Make Your Plan to Vote in November’s Election
The Final Lap in the Race to the White House
At its core, American democracy is based on the idea of civic engagement. It is the right and responsibility of each citizen to participate in the political process and get engaged. On November 8, we will head to the polls in what could prove to be the most pivotal election in recent years.
We’ve come a long way since that frigid February night in Iowa when Republicans and Democrats gathered at churches and in school gymnasiums to cast the first votes in this year’s presidential election. What started with more than a dozen candidates has been narrowed to two: businessman Donald Trump, the Republican, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democrat. With the finish line in sight, it’s time to make our voices heard.
It’s often said that 90% of success is showing up. In politics, this is especially true. At its core, American democracy is based on the idea of civic engagement. It is the right and responsibility of each citizen to participate in the political process and get engaged. The greatest tool at each citizen’s disposal is the right to vote. Voting gives you a voice in government, allowing you to choose leaders and shape the future of the country. On November 8, we will head to the polls in what could prove to be the most pivotal election in recent years. However, we can’t make a difference if we don’t make our voices heard.
This fall, we will not only vote to elect a new president but also every U.S. House member, one-third of the U.S. Senate, and numerous state and local positions. There are many things at stake that affect hardworking taxpayers.
For SEMA members in particular, a lot is on the line. Not only will the next president guide automotive policy at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but he or she will also have the power to determine which federal lands remain open for off-roading. As we’ve seen in recent years, control over these agencies can be hugely consequential.
|SEMA PAC President’s Club Spotlight
Adrian Murray (left) is the president of Painless Performance Products, which is based in Fort Worth, Texas. Painless Performance is a manufacturer and designer of complete automotive electrical systems, wiring harnesses and components for restoration, modification or direct replacement for the hot-rod, custom, musclecar, Jeep, truck and racing industries. Murray is a six-year member of the SEMA PAC President’s Club.
“SEMA PAC is absolutely critical to protecting the growth and vitality of our industry,” Murray said. “Even the most well-meaning lawmaker could inadvertently support legislation that is harmful to SEMA members or, conversely, be unfamiliar with legislation that is beneficial. SEMA PAC is our watchdog, tracking legislative and regulatory changes and ensuring that the industry’s concerns are understood and addressed. I can’t envision a single more effective way for any individual or company in SEMA to support the future success of this industry than to be a member of SEMA PAC.”
For more SEMA PAC information, contact SEMA PAC and Congressional Relations Director Christian Robinson at 202-751-8507 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next Congress will also have a lot on its plate. The tax code—which hasn’t been reformed since 1986—needs to be overhauled. Tax reform has been a campaign theme for years, but as a result of political gridlock, no meaningful action has taken place. Lawmakers in both parties have issued their own proposals, but all are on hold until after the election. The direction those reforms take could be dramatically different depending on which party controls the U.S. House and Senate.
Another item potentially on the next Congress’ agenda could be the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, which confirms that it has always been legal to convert a street car into a race car used exclusively at the track. While SEMA continues to push Congress to pass this critical legislation before the election, nothing is guaranteed. With the election approaching, lawmakers are spending less time in Washington and more time in their states and local districts. As a result, it may be the next Congress that ultimately decides the RPM Act’s fate.
The future of ethanol could also be decided by the next Congress. By law, ethanol is added into most gasoline. Most of the gas found at the pump contains up to 10% ethanol, but in order to meet the government mandate, the EPA approved the sale of 15% ethanol (E15). However, ethanol can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers, especially in older cars. Higher concentrations of ethanol also burn hotter and pose a risk to high-performance specialty parts. Legislation to reduce the ethanol mandate and ban the sale of E15 gasoline is pending in Congress but likely will not be acted upon until 2017.
Election Day is just around the corner, and your vote could determine the future of these issues and more. Even if you are not able to make it to the polls on November 8, you likely have the option to vote early or by absentee ballot. With all that’s at stake, it’s critical to be a part of our great democracy by making your voice heard.
The Voter Information tool at www.semasan.com/semavotes provides you with information on your state’s voting dates and deadlines. So what are you waiting for? Make your plan to vote today!