Objecting to vote is a waste of an American right

Jacob WaringReporter

Nov. 6 is just around the corner, and a lot is riding on this election for everyone. Whether a democrat, who wants the blue wave to cascade into the United States or a republican leaning towards the right, there is one clear way to sound your voice. The only way to make change or maintain the current status quo is by voting.

Hey, I get it, people usually only care about the presidential elections. It is the Superbowl of American elections while the midterms are more like the pre-season games. Yet, they do matter. Presidents do not make the laws, congress does. Civilly speaking, the president just signs bills into laws. With that in mind, every vote does matter, truly.

Take, for example, the 2016 Arizona Republican Primary of the 5th Congressional District. State Senator Andy Biggs was in the lead with 16 votes against challenger, Christine Jones. After a recount, it was found that Biggs was in the lead by 24 votes. That means just 24 people made a difference regarding who won.

I could go on, citing past elections that were decided in even closer margins. One vote does indeed make all the difference in an election.

Your vote could determine whether there are more restrictive abortion laws, determine state budgets, immigration and more. It matters, and by not voting, you are just a bystander of history rather than a participant.

I would not use the excuse of, “they’re not going to win anyway,” because such defeatism ensures the person you want to get elected, does not get elected. I have known some who were Bernie Sanders supporters, who did not vote for him (or in some cases at all) because they thought Hillary Clinton was destined to win regardless.

If you are dispirited about a congressperson’s politics, or their choices do not align with your political views, maybe the candidate running against them would be a far better choice. Voting is your true chance to usher in that change. Our election process is an ongoing revolution because we can regularly keep changing the fabric of congress if we are not satisfied with how the congress people are running our political institutions.

So, go vote on Nov. 6. Apply for an absentee ballot if you are too far from home. Get a ride from a friend to head to the polls. For some, it seems as serious as life or death: who becomes their representative in congress. It matters because the right to vote is a right that we continue to battle for in every generation.

The women suffragettes fought for this right during the suffrage movement. Suffragettes were jailed, and endured being force fed for three weeks during prison hunger strikes, all just for their right to vote. Rev. George Lee was assassinated in 1955 because he was trying to organize African Americans to register to vote. Indigenous people could not vote until 1924, Latinx people were not completely free from discrimination in regards to voting until an amendment to the Voting Rights Acts in 1975. Chinese were not abel to vote until the Magnuson Act in 1943.

My point is that not everyone imminently got the right to vote when our constitution was written. Many fought, some died, and people continue to fight just to maintain their right to vote. Voting is a right that can not be ignored or cast aside, because someone ignorantly thinks it will not matter at the end of the day.

So, please vote. Vote because you want a candidate who ideas reflects yours. Vote because you want the congressperson currently in office out. Vote because it is your duty as an American, and voting is what prevents this country from spiraling out of control or to correct when we end up mistakenly voting the wrong person in. Vote because it may be the difference between legislation that lifts us up or obliterates our rights.

Photo Credit: Jacob Waring

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