Listen to me now, and listen to me good. It’s 2020 and you need to vote.
I’ve got some things to say and you know they are important.
In case you have been living under the world’s largest boulder, this is election year. The presidential candidates are current President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. I’m not here to persuade you to vote for the obvious choice for who will serve as the better President of these United States, but I am here to explain all you need to know about voting. Yes, voting.
Read it, absorb it, meditate on it, do what you need to do to prepare for it, then spread the word. You can most definitely share this blog.
Why should you vote?
If you are anything but a white male, you should be flooding the voting polls and rushing to submit your ballots because disenfranchisement has suppressed our vote for generations. It has been a struggle and strife to fight for our right to vote. Do it to your ancestors who only dreamed of a day when their voice would be considered under the emblematic, American mantra of, “All men are created equal”.
We cannot disregard the fact that the United States votes under an electoral college rather than by popular vote, which sounds painstakingly confusing, but the video above should help clarify. The electoral college is determined by the 538 electors (435 House Representatives + 100 Senate + 3 electoral Representatives for Washington D.C.) who cast votes to select the future President of the United States.
Many criticize the use of an electoral college because contrary to popular belief, the candidate with the most vote (the popular vote) may not necessarily win the election. Many also disapprove of the “winner-takes-all” approach, where all of the electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who wins the majority of individual votes in that state. My intent is not to debate whether an electoral college is the optimal way to vote in 2020.
Sounds triggering, but hear me out.
Remember how former Democrat presidential candidate Hilary Clinton lost to President Trump in 2016? You cannot be certain that the residents in your home state will vote the same way you will. You need to vote to ensure the majority is represented. If all the passive, indifferent Americans who don’t love either candidate stay home and refuse to vote, especially in a safe state or a swing state, the most passionate, informed Americans will. There is always a lesser of two evils.
If you are choosing not to vote, you’re voting for our current administration. If you write-in a candidate on the ballot, you’re essentially not voting because the vote won’t count. No vote is a vote.
There has been recent commotion in the news in regards to President Trump’s attempt at voter suppression. Voter suppression is a systematic tactic to manipulate the outcome of an election through disenfranchisement, voter purges, gerrymandering, voter ID laws, etc. Considering that voting is your right as an American citizen, the concept of someone attempting to undermine your vote should put you over the edge. It is unpatriotic and undemocratic.
‘’Certain communities are particularly susceptible to suppression and in some cases, outright targeted — people of color, students, the elderly, and people with disabilities’’ (ACLU News & Commentary). Those discouraged from voting will contribute to a reduced voter turnout. Republicans in some states are working to suppress voters in their communities from voting for fear that their beloved president may not be re-elected. Their tactics have included: Changing mail-in ballots to substitute Republican candidates for Democratic candidates while “helping” voters fill them out.
- Closing polls in predominantly black or Latino areas.
- In some cases, prohibiting the use of mail-in ballots by voters under 65, and in others, attempting to prohibit the use of ballot drop boxes.
- Nullifying mail-in ballots received after election day.
- Requiring photo ID to vote at polling places.
- Requiring witnesses, notaries, and photo IDs to vote by absentee ballot.
- Limiting the ways organizers can help voters get to polling places or submit absentee ballots.
- Prohibiting voting by felons who served their time.
- Purging ballots of voters who fail to update their addresses, whose signatures don’t match those on file with state officials, whose votes are cast at other than at their assigned polling places, or who skipped six years of elections” (Baron).
If your representative is involved in acts of voter suppression, you’re welcome. I have just granted you another reason to vote in upcoming elections.
Time to take action.
- Check if you’re registered to vote.
- If you would rather not vote in person or would rather vote by mail, request your ballot now! You can do so at vote.org or simple google “absentee ballot (insert state name)”.
- If you’re concerned about your ballot arrives on time despite proactive measures, contact your Board of Elections to see if your state offers any drop off locations for your mail-in ballot.
- Find a way to vote early! Visit vote.org, and prepare for an earlier voting day to avoid the lines November 3.
- Educate yourself on the candidates running. I suggest you identify where you stand with some of the most heavily debated topics in this country, and identify the candidate that supports your stance. There are even quizzes to help determine which candidate aligns with your views based on your responses to the series of questions provided. Should you begin your research with a quiz, don’t stop there! Remember that a vote to anyone but a Democrat or Republican is basically a throwaway vote (It’s the truth!).
If you are an American who wishes to have a valued opinion on the way the United States operates, then you should vote. Those who did not vote in past elections and try to roam this earth, hooting and hollering about the way things are run really test my patience. Um, excuse me… Why didn’t you vote?? YOU are part of the problem!
Be the change, and vote this upcoming election. It will consume minutes out of your life and make an impact. We are all about making an impact.
ACLU News & Commentary. 3 Feb. 2020, www.aclu.org/news/civil-liberties/block-the-vote-voter-suppression-in-2020/.
Baron, Neil. “Democrats Must Go on the Offensive against Voter Suppression.” TheHill, The Hill, 20 Aug. 2020, thehill.com/opinion/campaign/512830-democrats-must-go-on-the-offensive-against-voter-suppression.