As you all probably know, November 6th is the midterm elections! That’s in ONE WEEK! I cannot stress enough how important it is that you all get out and vote. Only 61.4% of registered voters and only 46.1% of registered youth (18-29) turned out for the 2016 election. Midterm turnout rates have historically hovered around 32%. As someone who couldn’t vote in the either of these elections, I would’ve given almost anything to get my voice heard and the fact that such a large percentage of registered voters didn’t take advantage of that opportunity is disappointing. This has to change if we want to see social improvements. Hopefully you don’t need convincing, but if you do, here’s our (Jeremy and my) two cents:
- Low voter turnout. Often those most affected by laws are those that have the least say. We can change that. If we want representation we have to show up!
- Vote like your rights depend on it. A few examples:
- Kavanaugh was just confirmed to the supreme court. That means a conservative court which threatens minority rights (Roe v Wade). Vote to protect what we have and enact more positive change.
- The current administration is not friendly to minorities. Look at the erasure of language protecting transpeople going on right now or the Muslim travel ban.
- There’s a republican majority in Congress. If you don’t agree with that voting can change it. If you do agree with that, voting can keep it.
- A huge chunk of our population can’t vote. This is for a number of reasons. Many are undocumented or underage. For many it’s just plain old disenfranchisement (look at what’s happening in North Dakota, Georgia, and Florida right now). It’s your responsibility to vote not just for yourself, but for those who can’t. Protect yourself and your neighbors.
- Silence enables oppression.
- If we don’t vote, they will. Corporations, authority figures, money. Somebody’s voice will be heard. Make sure its the one you want.
- The only way to dismantle oppressive systems is to control them. Our vote is our control. Use it.
- Patriotism isn’t nationalism. It can take the form of criticism. You don’t have to die for your country to help it. Just being involved it the process is enough.
- Representation matters! Make sure you are represented by putting the people you identify with in positions of power.
- Voting keeps tyranny at bay. Part of the system of checks and balances relies on us to check those in power so that power is not abused.
In short, voting is more than a right. It’s a duty. Of course, there’s systemic issues that are preventing people from voting and those have to be addressed as well, but in the meantime you owe it to yourself and your friends to make your voice heard as best you can. Do your research and show up on November 6th!
Every good wish,
Julia and Jeremy
*all data was taken from the census website.