Why You Should Vote

*This does not reflect the opinions of Her Campus or SMU Her Campus, this is an opinion piece by the author and only reflects the opinions of such author* election ballot with red and blue masks Photo by Tiffany Tertipes from Unsplash

The 2020 Presidential Election is coming up, and I’m so excited to vote. I often hear people say that they feel like their vote won’t matter, and they ask, “what’s the point?” The point is that if you don’t vote, then it will definitely never matter. Elections are determined not by what experts predict what will happen, but who actually shows up. Voting is the foundation of a democracy, yet women were only granted the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment 100 years ago. Colored men and women didn’t even receive the right to vote until 1965, and today, voter suppression is still a very real thing. The only way to change the injustices we see in the voting process and in America in general are by making sure we register to vote. The right to vote is something that people for generations before us have fought hard for, so let’s make sure that right is extended to everyone else down the line. 

According to Time Magazine, in 2014, roughly 40% of Americans that were of voting age cast a ballot during the midterm elections. If too many young people skip out on the polls like this during the November election because it feels like the people that represent them don’t hear them, then voting loses its power. Creating consciousness in your community about what you’re passionate about is great – I’m a huge fan of posting on Insta about issues I find important or joining clubs that fight to create more awareness about issues close to my heart. But the number one way to scream loudly about what you want America to look like is to vote, and actually have a say in the matter. 

We’re the youngest and most diverse group of voting-age people – however, we statistically also turn out at the polls at much lower rates than older generations. One reason is that many people our age often say that they prefer not to get involved in politics; but the reality is, everything around you is political. Where you live, the quality of education you get, and the justice system – politics addresses critical issues that affect your everyday life. Going out and voting says that you’re not willing to ignore critical issues that impact your daily life. As the youngest voting generation, voting now directly impacts issues that will affect our lives for many years to come. You might feel like one vote won’t make a difference, but it really can – many elections come down to just a few votes.

I know it’s easy to forget to register to vote, but I promise it’s so easy – and you’ll be serving your community and doing your civic duty. Make sure you are registered and get out to vote in November! It’s one small step that has the potential to make a big difference.  Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels