Why Your Vote Is Important

In an Instagram post earlier this week, Taylor Swift publicly supported two Tennessee Democrats and urged her followers to register to vote. She wrote in her now infamous post, “In the past, I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my  political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”

The Taylor Swift effect, as dubbed by CNN, influenced many to register to vote. So much so, that there was a significant spike in voter registration after Swift’s post went viral. According to Vote.org, the numbers had spiked both nationally and in Swift’s home state of Tennessee. According to Kamarie Guthrie, director of communications for Vote.org, "We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift's post.” To give some perspective on the numbers, CNN cited that “190,178 new voters were registered via Vote.org nationwide during September and 56,669 in August.”

Conservatives had a lot to say about Swift’s outspokenness, with President Donald Trump saying to the press on Monday that he likes Swift’s music “about 25 percent less now” also stating that he was sure that Swift, “has nothing or knows nothing about her [Marsha Blackburn].” Blackburn is the Republican candidate running to replace Sen. Bob Corker for his seat in the Senate. She wrote in her Instagram post that Blackburn does not represent “MY Tennessee values” and  “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me." Swift is casting her vote in favor of Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House of Representatives. However, she urges all her followers to register and cast a vote themselves.

There appears to be the mindset among many young people, that our vote doesn’t really matter. So why bother registering and going to the polls at all, right? But this cannot be farther from the truth. Despite your own political leanings or feelings about Taylor Swift, the message she is spreading is a good one. Voting is one of the only ways that we, as citizens of the United States, have the power to affect change and make our opinions known. By voting, we are given a voice that members of our government cannot ignore. If you are unhappy with your state’s representatives or laws and likewise, if you think that your representatives are doing a good job, voting is an easy way to tell our government officials what we think. If we don’t make our voices heard and our opinions known, then our democracy ceases to be a democracy.

The date of the Ohio general election is Tuesday, November 6. Many states offer absentee ballots and early voting options for those who reside out of their home states or cannot make it to the polls on the 6th.  Do your research and vote for candidates and issues that you feel passionate about. This is the time to make your voice heard. It is important and it matters.