Why Your Vote Truly Matters

When my 2016 ballot came in the mail, the feeling of walking on eggshells became eminent. I realized that no matter how much research I did, I couldn’t support any of the candidates listed. This was proof to me that most of the time, life doesn’t hand us lemons; it hands us watermelons, fully expecting us to make lemonade. Therefore, an open and blank ballot continues to sit on my night-stand while I mentally pace, repetitively sorting out the odds. 

Discovering who you are and defining your own character can be one of the trickiest concepts to grasp. My one vote may not sway the Electoral College, let alone the entire election, but being authentic and honest to myself brings a sense of self recognition that makes me feel like I am not only contributing to society, but that no matter where I am in life, my thoughts, opinions, and actions matter as much as the person sitting next to me. Putting in the time and effort to gather as much knowledge as I can about political figures not only assures that my voice is not wasted, but creates awareness of the events that are writing the history of the world we live in.

I know too many people who choose to ignore politics all together due to its complexity. I can see how they would want to encompass an ‘ignorance is bliss’ mindset in this scenario, our future is largely impacted by the opinions of the people in office. Because of this, contributing to the national decision, by voting, is vital. In regard to choosing a party, or who to vote for, this is entirely up to you, and I wouldn’t be standing true to what I believe about being authentic if I told you otherwise. 

When making your decision, it is important to remember that presidential candidates are not the only people running for an influential office. If you want to see positive change in whatever it is that you stand for, pay attention to elections in congress, the house of representatives, senate etc. Returning to my previous statement about movements that you stand for, remember to look into candidates further than just one political issue. Sometimes, they may support one thing that you agree with, but they could also strongly agree with something you even more strongly disagree with. Although this can become complicated, if you choose your battles wisely, you will find compromise.

At the beginning of this article, my telling you that I still had an empty ballot was not to imply that I haven’t done my research, or I am one of those people who thinks America is going to crap either way, so there is no point in wasting my time. I told you that I had an empty ballot for two reasons; number one: to show you that you are not alone in your confusion. Number two: to remind you that by not being the only one that doesn’t know who to vote for, you are also not the only one who feels any certain way toward a political issue. Your vote matters, because you are an American with beliefs and opinions that can shape this country, and if every person in this great nation were dedicated to making their voice heard, we could see more compromise and less contention.

Editor's Note: All articles for Her Campus at the University of Utah are the opinions and beliefs of the writers and do not reflect Her Campus at the University of Utah, the University of Utah or Her Campus as an international magazine.