This is a public service announcement, but please bear with me because it is a subject I am passionate about.
I want you to vote in the 2018 Midterm Election on November 6.
I don’t care who you vote for, I don’t care if you are voting against someone rather than for them. I don’t care if you only go to the polls because of one candidate or one issue. I don’t even care if you vote against my candidate, the person that I strongly want to win in the election. I don’t care about any of that.
I just want you to vote.
It’s probable that most of you reading this are planning to vote, and that I am preaching to the choir, but if that’s the case, I urge you to look around at your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. If you see someone who seems unlikely to vote or even actively bragging that they aren’t planning to vote…please feel free to share this post or these facts with them.
I can’t tell you how annoyed I get with the number one reason given for not voting…“my vote doesn’t count.”
In the first place, that’s just stupid, of course it counts.
In the second place, what you are totally ignoring is that by NOT voting, your vote counts double. Do the math. By not voting, you have not advanced a candidate that you could surely have been “okay” with, and by not voting against a candidate you don’t agree with, you have given that candidate free rein to possibly win the election and be your representative in government for 2 or 4 or even more years.
And in the third place, here are some examples of elections where one person’s vote (or one person who did NOT vote) made a huge difference:
- One vote kept Aaron Burr from becoming President in 1800
- One vote made Texas a part of United States of America in 1845
- One vote saved Andrew Johnson from impeachment in 1868
- One vote elected Rutherford B. Hayes to the Presidency in 1876
- One vote per precinct would have elected Richard Nixon rather than John F. Kennedy in 1960
So, don’t tell me your vote doesn’t count or won’t make a difference.
One more argument I hear is: “well, elected officials only listen to big money.” That one is certainly true. According to the website HuffingtonPost.com:
Nearly 80 percent of people with yearly incomes of $75,000 or higher voted in the 2012 election, compared to just 60 percent of those earning less than $50,000 a year. By age, voter participation of older Americans eclipses that of those under 30.
So you see, it absolutely makes sense that the elected politicians will make decisions that benefit the people who voted for them, the wealthier, older citizens that took the time to study the issues and made their way to the voting booth on election day. Once again, making the excuse “my vote won’t count” into a huge lie!
And finally, it wasn’t so long ago that most of us even won the right to vote. Women fought hard for that privilege before winning it in 1920. The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1971. For years only property owners were allowed to vote and after the Civil War, many voters were required to pass literacy tests.
The right and privilege to vote has been a hard-won battle by our ancestors, and we owe it to them to not take this duty for granted.
It is so important for our young people, our senior citizens living on fixed incomes, our lower and middle class income earners, our working poor, our ethnic brothers and sisters, our women…so important for all people to vote, because rather than “my vote doesn’t count” your one vote most definitely counts…whether you perform that duty or whether you don’t.
So, I end as I began: I want you to vote in the 2018 Midterm Election on November 6. I promise, your vote WILL count.