Voting – An American right

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Election officials sort absentee and early voting ballots for counting inside Boston City Hall, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Boston. Photo by Elise Amendola/AP Photo.

Nov. 3, 2020 is finally here, and as soon as the polls close in America, there will be another president in office for the next four years. The 2020 presidential election is one of the most controversial, and it makes some people question if it is even worth voting. Sure, maybe you feel uneducated in the world of politics and think it’s unwise of you to participate in something that you have no knowledge on. Or maybe you don’t like either candidate, and feel as though it’s better off for you to not have a say in something that doesn’t matter to you. Whatever the reason might be for you to not want to vote, I am here to tell you why voting is an important right of American citizens, and nobody of age should be missing the opportunity to have their voice heard today.  

When an American citizen turns 18 years old, they are allowed to vote in the elections. When the Constitution was written, the founding fathers decided how the new country would vote. As can be seen today, there is a Senate, a House of Representatives and a president. The Senate and House of Representatives are elected by popular vote, so anyone eligible to vote can pick who they would like in these positions. The president and the vice president on the other hand are chosen by the Electoral College. For those who don’t know, each state has a number of representatives in the Electoral College based on the size/population of the state. This Tuesday, American citizens will vote in their state to count toward the popular vote. The representatives in the Electoral College will then choose the president and the vice president, so it’s an indirect process for Americans. We make our voices heard on Election Day, and then the representatives for our state, with the popular vote indirectly influencing their choices, will make the final decision. 

America has come a long way in its voting freedoms. Certain amendments have broken down barriers, allowing for all American citizens 18 and older to vote. People in the past have fought long and hard for everyone to have this right. At the same time, some of the closest elections in history have been affected by the singular votes of Americans, showing how important your vote is. No one should be following the ideology that one vote out of a million won’t affect anything. Let’s look back at the year 2000, when Al Gore just barely lost the Electoral College vote to George Bush. There was a recount in Florida, where Bush had won the popular vote only narrowly, thus leading to a Supreme Court case. According to National Geographic, “Bush won Florida by .009% of the votes cast in the state, or 537 votes. Had 600 more pro-Gore voters gone to the polls in Florida that November, there may have been an entirely different president from 2000-2008.”

I am well aware that your vote does not directly impact the outcome of who is to be president because as I explained before, it is an indirect process. But with enough voters in each district or county, the vote will matter for the electoral representatives. Most states even have a “winner takes all” system. Now, if this wasn’t enough to convince you to vote in this upcoming presidential election, let’s not forget that the local state elections are just as important. These local turnouts are decided by a smaller portion of voters, so your vote could be more meaningful in terms of local issues.  

Your vote matters, plain and simple. Whether you are mailing in a ballot or visiting your local polls, make sure to choose a president in this upcoming election. Whether it feels like it or not, your vote can indirectly have a huge impact on who will become our president for the next four years. As an American citizen it is your right, and it has been something people fought hard for, so make sure to check a box today and get that sticker. 

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