🏛🗳 REACH out and VOTE 🗳🏛 The UnifiEd Student Voice Team Blog About Voting
This blog will take a look at the impacts of voting versus not voting on four critical issues that will be affected by this election. We’re examining the importance of voting on the Environment, Public...
Rights, World Events, and Local Issues. Regardless of your opinions on any of these topics, it's important to vote to impact them and create positive change for the future!
The Environment: Events leading up to 2020 have shown that climate change is not slowing nor stopping, so it is up to our leadership to determine the future of public health as a whole. With this being the case, it is important to vote on people who have shown responsibility to attempt to mediate climate change and to watch for what our candidates say on the nature of climate change. Do they believe it is a theory? Do they recognize it as a scientific fact? Do they not recognize it at all? All of these are essential elements in consideration of your candidate. Your vote matters, and who the public puts into office will determine the future of our planet. Remember, this election season you are not only affecting the immediate future, but the many days ahead of us all. Whatever you do, and whoever you believe, it is important to vote. If you do not make your voice as a citizen heard, you are not taking part in the republic you live in.
Public Rights: Along with every election, human rights matter and are affected by the elected president. We have the right to feel safe, we have the right to the amendments, we have the right to healthcare, and more. This election will determine whether the fundamental rights will be protected or stripped for millions across the country. The presidency determines if millions of lives will be protected or threatened in all sectors of life. For example, the Affordable Care Act currently provides healthcare for over 20 million people. The current administration is working to repeal this act, which will strip away over 20 million people’s healthcare. If this presidency has not affected you, it will soon. It will affect your community, friends, family, and loved ones. Your vote is the difference between the protection of humanity and civil unrest. Don’t vote by sides and political parties and don’t vote just to elect a president. Vote for equal Human Rights! Support and vote for candidates that respect and enforce human rights for all people. Poverty, inequality, the criminal legal system, racial discrimination, women's rights, immigration, LGBT rights, privacy, data protection, and digital rights are just some of the aspects to consider when electing a president. You are not only selecting a president but for all of these things too. Not voting is the same thing as not caring about fundamental human rights. It is being blissfully ignorant as millions suffer under this regime. It is not using your privilege and power for change.
World Events: From a pandemic to civil unrest and protests, America’s 2020 has been anything but ordinary. As social media platforms and streaming channels began to grow in popularity, there has been a clear shift in how people receive information. A study at MIT reported by www.theatlantic.com found that “Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories.” In a world that thrives on false narratives and negative news, there needs to be a standard on addressing important issues without A) fear-mongering while B) informing the people on current issues and events.
The difficult task of addressing these issues falls on the shoulders of the leaders we elect. It is imperative that we actively vote for someone who focuses on facts and is devoted to maintaining transparency with the people they serve. If one chooses to sit out on elections that they are eligible to vote in, they risk being stuck with a leader who doesn’t address issues they are concerned about. There is also the possibility that these issues may be addressed ineffectively by downplaying the said issue, creating unnecessary fear, and/or spreading false information.
In reality, you could vote and still experience this unfortunate outcome. But the flip side to this is that one vote could also tip the scale in favor of a leader who will correctly address critical issues. One vote could quite possibly change an entire history depending on the leader who ends up being elected from all of those individuals. Mayoral, general, and even congregational elections have been determined by one vote, so doubting your power takes away from the impact your voice and vote could have.
Local Issues: While this election is typically referred to as ‘The Presidential Election’, there is a lot more on the ballot than only the presidential election. There are state and local offices on the ballot as well as Ordinances to be voted upon. You can view a sample ballot for Hamilton County here to plan how you will vote on the other issues on the ballot. By voting in this election, you aren’t just helping to pick the next President of the United States, you are also helping to shape the future of your community. Some municipalities are having elections for city council members or commissioners. These positions will make critical decisions for your town. In some cases, these elected officials will shape the businesses that are allowed to build in your town. This means that officials could be deciding what the economy, environment, and traffic will look like in your town. In many cases, the things you have looked at and said “I wish someone would fix that” could be fixed by these officials who often focus on town facilities and ordinances. If you choose not to vote in this election, you choose to neglect your community’s needs. If you don’t vote, you aren’t contributing to the betterment of your local community. Voting in this election will allow your community to improve with the assurance that this improvement is what the citizens want to see in the community.
Conclusions: Voting in any election isn’t just about picking a president. Whoever is elected will affect the United States and make an impact. The election and those elected impact essential aspects such as the Environment, Public Rights, Local Issues, and World Events. Voting is an important structural element of our society. Your vote will make an impact, regardless of how you vote. The big thing is: YOU NEED TO VOTE!