HE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Eric
With the election only a few weeks away, I began to see a surplus of Californians posting their votes for the upcoming presidential election on Facebook and Twitter. I either saw, “I am throwing my support to Obama” or “Romney has now got my vote.” I have always had this theory: if you live in a state that is not a swing state, your vote counts but it doesn’t matter. I don’t care if every friend on my Facebook from California decides to vote for the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. California electoral votes always go to Democrats. That’s just the way it is. Same goes for states like Massachusetts and New York. Likewise, states like Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee always vote Republican.
Let me throw out any biases before I continue. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I personally think bonding to one particular party is dumb. Last election I voted for Obama and I am leaning toward Obama again this year (not that it matters). I also think the Electoral College is straight up dumb. A majority vote should decide who wins the presidency, or any vote for that matter.
The primary swing states are Florida, Ohio, Colorado, and Iowa. There is a reason Obama and Romney are spending 90% of their supporter funding in those states. In fact both campaigns have identified the eight swing states they will need to get the 270 electoral votes needed to win. It is simple: those states matter and the rest do not. Those states decide who win the presidency every four years.
So how can you make your vote matter? Simple, you can move to a swing state. Sounds dumb to move your whole life just to make your presidential vote count, right? Well it’s also dumb to think your vote matters if you don’t live in a swing state. Instead, spend your energy voting for local elections, like mayor, assembly, and city council. I know many people that will take time off of work to go vote for the president but when the city mayor is up for re-election, they do not bother. It really makes no sense to me. I know this sounds harsh and apathetic but that’s just the way it is.
SHE SAID WHAT?!
Posted By Crystal
There is one word that comes to mind when I think about people who feel their vote doesn’t matter. Madness!
You should always cast your vote; at the dinner table, at your PTA, in your local government, and, yup, even for the next president. Look, I’m just as much of a conspiracy theorist as the next person. I think it’s possible that votes are tampered with or that being from a swing state means your vote matters more. But that is not the real issue. The issue is whether as an American citizen you should bother with the act of VOTING. And my answer is OF COURSE! That is a no-brainer! Let me remind you that not too long ago certain people didn’t have the legal right to vote. For example:
In the 16th century African slaves were brought to the U.S where they worked tirelessly in inhumane and unjust conditions for 300 years. They were seen as property, therefore it was unnecessary to educate them or include them in the democratic process because, well…they were not viewed as worthy of a vote.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that women were finally legally able to vote. Because once girls were old enough to be wed, their husbands were given the right to vote and not them. Women weren’t even able to own their own property, so when they married, their assets became their husbands’. Currently, in other countries it is still illegal for women to vote (there have been movements to change this, but not without bloodshed, riots and chaos for many).
If you were born in this country or had to go through the actual citizenship process, you should feel grateful for the opportunity to vote. This is what my mom said about going through the process of getting her citizenship: “There are so many young and old people in other parts of the world who are actually fighting and even dying for the right to vote. We should be thinking about what it means to be an American and what those before us had to sacrifice for us today.”
We should show our children the importance of their vote and that they have the power and strength to be catalysts of change. If they feel jaded and apathetic about making their voices count, that might hinder their views and ambitions.
Lastly, as a woman of color I feel voting is not only a way to show my respect for those who fought for future generations (like me), but also a way to continue a legacy to new generations. So who really knows if my vote “counts”…truth is I don’t care. That is way out of my control. The only thing I can control are my actions. So come hell or high water, I will cast my vote wherever I can, whenever I can, because I can.