Today is the day! The day we have all been waiting for, or possibly dreading. The 2016 presidential election. Up until now we have seen and heard some things that would make anyone nervous to cast their vote. But don’t let that scare you, there are several factors to this election and your vote matters!
Whether you decide to vote Democrat, Republican or Third Party, your vote is important. Voter turnout for different demographics influence public policy for those demographics. For example, if enough college students show up to vote for a registered candidate, we would likely see issues of college tuition recognized in future government policies.
Don’t write in Bernie! As much as I love that Obi-Wan-esque, bird whispering, old man, it just isn’t practical. The person you choose to vote for must be a registered candidate or your vote will not count. So, Even if you don’t agree with the Two Party system, voting for a third party will ensure that your demographic is documented.
There is a lot more to this election than voting for president. Most of the legislature that impacts your day-to-day life comes from your state government. Your local government officials are in charge of things like public schools and state taxes. The people who run for local government are accountable for almost everything the state is responsible for, so voting in local elections is arguably more important than voting in presidential elections.
Local elected officials also represent citizens, and act on the citizen’s behalf in the federal branch of the government. When citizens don’t vote in local elections elected officials can’t accurately speak for the majority. This can lead to small groups, whose views don’t align with the majority, to be able to push their interests; becoming the interests of the entire state (even if they’re not the interests of the majority of citizens).
Voting is a right that our ancestors fought and died for. Our government traditionally only allowed white men the right. Even after the right to vote was granted to everyone, people have struggled with strict voter laws that have strategically targeted marginalized groups.
For example, voter ID laws make it almost impossible for certain groups to vote. Black and Latinx voters are less likely to have a valid photo ID than white voters. Transgender citizens are also turned away at the polls, especially if they are going through gender marker changes, appearance shifts or name changes which deem their ID’s as “invalid.”
So please go out and vote, because there are still a lot of people who don’t have that privilege!
Where to Vote
You can find your polling place by clicking here.