The 2016 Presidential Campaign has been a wild ride of drama, slander, and finger-pointing. Let’s be honest: it’s been an all-out catfight. And yes, I’m still talking about the race for the American Presidency, not last week’s episode of “The Real Housewives.” With that said, the easiest decision to make here would be to not vote, right?
Here are some of the most important reasons to get your butt to the polls (or fill out an absentee ballot) and vote.
There has to be a winner.
Unfortunately, Beyoncé can’t be our president for the next four years. You’ve only got four choices this election season—Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein (plus a few other randos in select states). While you might not absolutely love any of them, your vote can still be used to support the lesser of a few evils. If you forfeit your right to vote, it won’t change the outcome that one of these candidates will be elected. Since that’s the case, wouldn’t you rather support the one you’d rather have running our nation?
This is your future.
It can be hard to understand how much your life could change with this election, so let me break it down: you are choosing the leader of your country. THE LEADER. That leader makes something called “laws,” which basically tell you how you’re allowed to live your life. Once passed, those things are hard to change. If you don’t agree with a candidate’s policies, you need to use your vote to stand against them and speak up for your future now because it will definitely be changed by this outcome.
You know, that one time Britain voted to remove themselves from the effin’ European Union? It was a battle of epic proportions: a conservative, anti-immigration older generation versus the younger generation concerned about cash money. Sound familiar? The older generation had a much higher turnout rate—about 75%—compared to the youth votes who clocked in at only 19%. Since the majority of turnout voters wanted to leave, their voice was heard and listened to—essentially, the “olds” decided the future for the “youngsters” simply because they were the ones that went out to vote. This especially sucks for the youth because they will have to deal with the adverse effects for much longer than their senior counterparts.
Your vote DOES make a difference.
#TBT to The Great Bush vs. Gore Florida Vote Recount Crisis of 2000. The entire presidential race that year came down to the outcome of the lil’ ol’ Sunshine State. The first vote count showed Bush in the lead by 1,800. But, since there’s a fun Florida law that demands an auto-recount for a margin that low, the votes were counted again and (grab your popcorn) the new count showed Bush had only a 327 vote lead. If you think that’s dramatic—good, because it is. This little case study proves how much your single vote CAN change the outcome of the entire election. Just think, if those 327 people chose not to vote, Gore could have been our president from 2000 to 2004. To put this into perspective, those 327 people make up only .000109% of America. I can understand why you might think your voice won’t be heard out of all of those people (300 million is a LOT of people), but it’s only when you don’t vote that your voice is truly lost.
Personal rights are on the line.
LADIES. I’M TALKING TO YOU. The Republican party has a House majority. This is a fancy term meaning “white dudes be all up in Congress controlling yo’ bizness.” With a Republican president, especially one that vocalizes the “inevitability” of criminalizing abortion with his election (hi, Mr. Trump), there is a strong chance that Supreme Court cases like Roe vs. Wade would be overturned. As an eligible voter, you have the opportunity to choose a leader that will protect your freedoms, not limit them. Your vote is the equivalent of speaking up for your rights as a woman. We’ve been granted the 19th Amendment for a reason—why not use it? Girls, we run this motha (not to reference Yoncé again, but like seriously – #Bey2020).
Now, maybe more so than any other recent election, is the most important time to exercise your right to vote. Your vote is your voice and I know you have a lot to say. This election is your chance to speak your mind. Find your local polling location here.
by Amber Cannale