Why Your Vote Matters

One issue that I believe both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton would agree on (and there aren't many!) is that you should go out and vote on November 8th. Not only are you exercising your fundamental right as an American citizen, but high voter turnouts foster authentic democracy. The nation that was founded on the principle of “by the people, for the people,” only upholds this value by receiving a high voter turnout because everyone’s voice is heard. Out of the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OPEC), America has the ninth lowest voter turnout.  With many ways to make voting easier, like the early polling places throughout Massachusetts and absentee ballots, this is absolutely not acceptable.

The most common deterrent to voting, which I hear all of the time, is when people say their vote doesn’t matter. This is simply wrong. For example, the 2000 presidential race between President George W. Bush and Al Gore was so close that they had to recount the number of votes each candidate received in Florida. Imagine the regret you’d feel sitting in Florida at the time of the recount thinking that your vote could have decided who our president would be.

Even if the state you reside in historically votes Republican or Democrat in the presidential race, there are numerous other races to vote in that rely on much smaller numbers. To see change occur in your local community, it’s vital to vote for state senators and representatives. Or, if you are passionate about your community’s education system, it is crucial to vote for members of your city or town’s school board and town council. Additionally, included on each ballot are important questions that help decide the future actions of your state’s government. Your voice matters in these decisions, and you can help single-handedly promote a healthier community for your friends and family.

Your vote matters. As an American citizen, it is your civic duty to fill out your absentee ballot or attend your local polling station on November 8th. To help promote this get out the vote movement, Her Campus Emmanuel will be initiating a raffle. To enter this raffle, share this article on Facebook and your name will automatically be submitted to win a prize! Additionally, if you post a picture with you and your absentee ballot (please no pictures of your actual ballot, we don’t want it to be disqualified!) and tag Her Campus Emmanuel on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you will be entered an additional time into the raffle.

Happy Election Season! I’ll be wearing my I Voted sticker on November 8th; will you?