Voting is the integral to the democratic process and has been a foundational part of American politics since Americans first cast their votes on January 7, 1789 in the inaugural presidential election. This over 200 year old experiment in democracy went on to create a long line of US presidents, whose political legacies continue to this day in both history books and public policies alike. While casting a vote can sometimes feel like a drop in the ocean, turning up to vote has never been more important. Turbulent partisan politics combined with unprecedented circumstances induced by the coronavirus pandemic, means individual votes are more vital than ever in creating the people power needed to drive institutional change.
10 reasons why voting affects our future
- Voting is a right
Voting is a right people have died for and continue to fight for around the world to this day. Living in a democratic state such as the US gives citizens voting rights and the chance to have a say in how they are governed.
- Every vote counts
Shockingly close presidential races in history show us the importance a single vote can make. The impossible to call 2000 Presidential election with candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore ended in Gore calling for a recount, with Bush winning the electoral college with 271 votes to Gore’s 266.
- Decide your own future
Voter apathy as well as active voter deterrent campaigns from opposing political parties are just some of the reasons why people are dissuaded from the polls. Yet for every person that stays home there is another who will still make the effort to vote, and it is this person’s opinion in the end that will be counted. Don’t give up your chance to influence your own fate by not making informed political decisions.
- Globalization affects us all
The US has for a long time been one of the major players on the world stage of current affairs. Its influence in international geopolitics has had a long term effect of a foreign policy seeking to assert economic and political dominance. For voters in the US, local elections will set the stage for national congressional voting on issues such as environmental bills that will ultimately go on to have a global effect.
- Community is key
Voting comes with a responsibility to those and the world around us. Local elections are one way issues pertinent to the community are dealt with, and voting is your opportunity to make change and decide what comes next. Communities are made up of diverse peoples of all ages, with some ineligible to vote and others unable to travel to the polls, so it’s important to cast your vote whilst bearing in mind those that can’t.
- A chance for change
Election time is one of the most opportune times for change. To vote smart, individuals need to stay informed from a variety of sources and keep up to date with the voting history of senators and representatives. We Will Decide was set up to help provide unbiased political information to people on issues by creating access to original source documents and candidate histories.
- Money talks
The government is spending your tax payers money so get your voice heard by casting your vote. With so much hierarchy and state bureaucracy it’s easy to forget governments are meant to be working for the people, but using your vote is one way to remind them who they’re speaking for.
- Can’t complain
If you don’t vote it’s hard to keep the moral high ground when discussing issues. If a topic such as climate change or labor rights is close to your heart, use voting as your opportunity to get your opinion heard. By not voting, you’re effectively giving up your say in the conversation and chance to persuade popular opinion.
- The personal is political
The individual is key to the functioning of our collective democrartic process. Decisions that affect our personal lives are made collectively through things like voting. Participating in the democratic process is one way to influence society’s structures and rules that subsequently determine how we live privately also.
- Everything is political
It should be clear by now that everything is political: from our intimate private affairs, to global issues such as environmental protection and public health services. By employing your own political agency, you can express your hopes for the future of our world, joining with others in the demographic process to create stable foundations for political change.