Your Vote is Your Voice: Be Heard

Your vote is like your voice. With everything going on in the world today, between the COVID-19 virus and the racial tensions growing with each passing day, it is hard to see the forest beyond the trees. We see all these events happening around us and it’s like we’re in this bubble. But one day that bubble will burst and we’ll be left to deal with the sticky residue. So how does that relate to voting? In our society today, we can no longer exist in a bubble, watching the world go by. We cannot sit in front of an entire forest of issues, of policies, of people’s lives and watch it burn like the wildfires in California. We have to take action and finally address the sticky residue that we have found ourselves in. One way to do that is to vote. 

 

Many people don’t see the point in voting. They think that one vote won’t change anything, so it is better to stay home and not vote at all. The people who think that aren’t necessarily wrong, but they could be misinformed. Voting is a complex subject.

 

The entire concept of voting is confusing, so it’s easy to see how people could have the belief that one vote has no impact on the outcome of anything in our government. But one vote does matter, because it could be the one vote that changes how Electors vote. 

 

One thing to understand about voting is that it is not just based on individual votes, but is a system that was put into place as a compromise to protect state’s representation in the government. For example, without the Electoral College, states with larger populations would overrule smaller states' votes simply because of the sheer number of individual votes counted. By using the electoral college, it gives states a more fair chance to be represented. That being said, let’s explore what the electoral college is.

 

The Electoral College

The Electoral College is the system the United States uses to elect the president. Anyone 18 or older is eligible to vote. Many people think that the presidential candidate with the most votes wins the election, which is true, but not in the way that most would think.  Part of our system of voting includes popular votes and electoral votes. The everyday voting that people think about is the popular vote. When we vote, our votes go toward telling the electors how to vote. An elector is a representative for the votes of people and votes based off of the popular vote. Electors make up the Electoral College and vote for the President and Vice President of the United States. In total, there  are 538 electors in the electoral college that represent the 50 states. For those in South Carolina, we have nine electors. Electors are based on population, which is why bigger states, like Texas, have more electoral votes. Each state is promised at least two votes, which accounts for the state’s Senate seats, and the remaining electoral votes depend on how many representatives they have in the House. The goal in running for President is to secure 270 (or more) electoral votes, since this number is over half of the Electoral College. 

 

So why does the popular vote matter?

Every state, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, vote based on an all-or-nothing rule. Once everyone in a state votes, the electoral counts the number of votes for each candidate. The candidate with the most votes for each state gets the votes in the Electoral College. This is why a candidate can have the most popular votes but still lose the election due to Electoral votes. One vote can be the difference between a state voting Republican or voting Democrat. This is one of the main reasons why it is important to vote. On the surface, voting may seem meaningless because all we get is one vote per person. But if everyone voted, who knows what outcomes we would have.  It may seem small and arbitrary, but your vote matters. Your vote or mine could be the difference and that’s part of how we, as the public, get our voices heard. Use your voice and use your vote to support the candidate you want to see in office. If you don’t vote, it’s one less vote for the candidate you feel would be the best leader for the next four years. 

 

Be the change you want to see in the world. 

 

Let your voice be heard. 

 

Go vote.

 

For more information about voting and the Electoral College, feel free to explore the links below.

https://www.parents.com/kids/education/the-electoral-college-explained-for-kids/#:~:text=%20The%20Electoral%20College%2C%20Explained%20for%20Kids%20,big..%20There%20are%20538%20electors%20in...%20More%20 

https://www.npr.org/2016/11/06/500660424/how-the-electoral-college-works-and-why-you-don-t-want-to-think-about-it