Voting in modern presidential elections may feel like choosing between the lesser of two evils. Because of this, you may find it easier to abstain from voting. However, there is too much at stake this November to not vote.
The consequences of this election will exceed beyond who sits in the Oval Office. Things that are on the ballot this November include, but are not limited to, the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, healthcare, foreign policy, race inequality, climate change responses, abortion rights, economic inequality and immigration.
You may not want Donald Trump or Joe Biden as your president, and that’s your right. But to choose not to vote because of this opinion is to relinquish your right to influence the issues you care about. And quite frankly, it’s a selfish choice.
To opt not to vote is privilege in action.
If who the president is may seem inconsequential to your personal life, know that there are Americans whose rights are at stake.
This election could influence whether or not a business has the right to refuse customers on the basis of their sexual orientation or whether a transgender American can serve in the military. The results of this election could decide whether or not a police officer is charged in the murder of an innocent Black American.
It is possible that these issues don’t directly affect you. But for Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, for Landon Wilson, for the families of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and for the thousands of Americans in similar situations, justice is on the ballot this November.
A harsh American reality is that while voting is considered a right under the constitution, not every American can exercise their right. Many Americans who have been convicted of a felony cannot vote. Permanent residents who have not been granted citizenship cannot vote. To be able to vote is a privilege that should not be taken lightly.
It is especially important for college students to vote. Young voters make up half of the eligible voting population, yet are statistically not as likely to cast their vote. In 2016, just 50 percent of Americans aged 18-29 voted in the presidential election.
The youth vote has the ability to sway this election– do not take that for granted.
You may not care now, but presidential elections alter the American climate forever, and you may decide you care when it’s too late. Don’t leave room for regret.
I understand being frustrated. Choosing between two old white men is not the vision I had for America in 2020 either, but I want to remind you that you’re not voting for your dream America. You’re voting for the America that most closely aligns with the one of your dreams.
So please, if you’re eligible, vote. Go to Vote.org for more information on how to do so.