As ordinary citizens, there are a lot of things that we don’t have control over. There’s a lot of money, power, special interests, and connections that determine who gets to run in elections. Those things also have an influence in what happens once a government is formed.
But voting is where the people have their say. Sure, you may not like the choices. But you get to make a choice, and many people around the world are denied that right. The American electoral college system means that it’s not truly one person, one vote, but you still get a vote. Voting matters. Your vote matters.
Many people have died around the world over the years for freedom and the right to vote in a democracy. Many people still live in places where there are no democratic elections. It’s easy to take the right to vote for granted, but it was only in 1920 that the women’s suffrage movement convinced the United States government to give women the right to vote. There are still groups that are disenfranchised, either by law or through structural factors like voter ID laws that are most likely to affect vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Distractions like unsubstantiated claims about the integrity of the electoral system only take away from the real issues at hand. The more people that exercise their democratic right to vote, the better it is for the country and the closer we get to the ideals of democracy, where the people truly do have a voice.
As we approach the November elections in the United States, there is so much at stake. There’s divisiveness, tension, and violence that need to stop. This is not a time to sit back and watch. It’s a time to act; it’s a time to vote.
And sure, I’m not American, but I’ll be voting by mail this month in a provincial election here in my corner of Canada. Voting matters. Your vote matters.
Register to vote tool from Vote.org
You can register right now using this Vote.org tool.