As Americans, we often don’t acknowledge how meaningful it is to be a member of a democracy. We have the power to create change in our nation by using our voices, and more importantly our ballots, during election season. It’s no secret that enthusiasm to vote among U.S. citizens has seldom been significant. We easily reject our power to vote due to the assumption that our input doesn’t count or worse: it doesn’t matter. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
During the historical 2008 presidential election, more than 4 in 10 Americans stayed home on voting day, and even with those contextually low numbers, we still managed to make history. Come this November, during what can be considered one of the most controversial and historical elections in our nation’s history, it’s more important than ever for us to utilize our right to vote. Here are a few reasons why:
- You’re not just voting for a candidate: You’re voting for the political party that will have control over the Senate or House of Representatives. You’re voting for the policies your candidate will push for in office. You’re voting for the overall morale of your country for the next four years. The state of the economy, heavy racial tensions, and data security are just some of the issues that our next president is going to have to address. The candidate that you vote for will ultimately lead the way in resolving them, so it’s important to do research and rally for the one who plans to do so the way you deem fit.
- Many people fought for your right to vote: And in many other countries, people are still fighting for that right. Although we are a democracy today, there were many people before you who had to pay a big price for the seemingly unimportant rights you enjoy today. To maintain democracy, it is essential that we all use voting as a way to express our thoughts on how to continue our progression as a nation.
- Your Vote Encourages Diverse Perspectives and Representation: As a nation that takes pride in our reputation for being a melting pot, we each must do all that we can to ensure that politics and policy in this country protect the diverse people who live in it. Just look at the 2008 presidential election, where voting among African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities was higher than any other election in the nation’s history. By coming out to vote at such large capacities, these communities were successful in making their vision for America come true.
- Every Vote Counts: They really do! Votes do not only determine who is elected as president. They also determine the amount of leverage the president will have in office introduce new laws and policies. Even if you are certain that the candidate you’re voting for isn’t going to win, your vote can limit the opponent’s power to introduce extreme new policies by lessening their margin of victory. Furthermore, votes for your preferred candidate helps them gain leverage to still make political impact outside of the oval office.
Make sure to come out to vote on Election Day! Your vote matters.