Your Vote Counts But It Doesn’t Matter

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.

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:

1) Slaves
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.

2) Women
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).

3) Immigrants
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.

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14 Responses to “Your Vote Counts But It Doesn’t Matter”

  1. wtg22

    Crystal, just reading your response made me swell up with pride for being an American! You’re right that it’s a privilege to be able to elect our leaders, and it’s also a responsibility. If you care about the way our country is run, or if you ever question the system, the only way to affect change is to do something about it. Even if you don’t think your vote will “matter,” it does.

  2. alex

    I think the freedom of choice supersedes any responsibility. They fought for the right to vote, not for the requirement. Either way, I think it’s still important to vote.

  3. Ozzy

    Both sides have valid arguments. I agree with Eric that our vote in California doesn’t really matter, democrats will win anyway. Eric talks about all these people who post on who they will vote for and Eric is one of them. He doesn’t post who he will vote for but he post his opinions and critiques. WHy cast your opinion if it doesn’t matter? Anyway, I also agree that people need to be more active when it comes to voting for local government. Even more active than presidential elections, especially since Obama will win California anyway.

    But, at the same time, many people in other countries fight and die for the rights we have and we just toss away those rights because, eh, it doesn’t matter, right? No. Even if our vote doesn’t matter be proud to be an American and go exercise your right to vote. Right, Eric.. it was you after all who said “You’re an American, embrace it”. So, embrace it then. Embrace everything about it and go vote. Once you get enough people in California to believe their vote doesn’t matter, then guess what, that’s when it will begin to matter.

    • echavez

      As of right now, i am voting for Romney – So i will not be voting in Nov. since it will not matter.

    • echavez

      Eric talks about all these people who post on who they will vote for and Eric is one of them. He doesn’t post who he will vote for but he post his opinions and critiques

      I challenge you to go thru my facebook and find one post about this years race. Screenshot it and get back to me. Good luck.

  4. DavidB

    I think people should vote for one simple reason: If you don’t vote, then you don’t have a right to complain. Yeah, you’re not going to single-hadedly elect the person of your choice, but at least you did something to try and make it happen.

  5. Gaby

    I agree with Eric that not enough people vote in local elections and we really should. It’s smaller scale politics, but you have a greater impact as a citizen. However, this is also the guy who gave me crap for voting for Nader in 2000. If my vote doesn’t matter, why couldn’t I have voted for the guy I wanted to, since he wasn’t going to win my state and my vote wouldn’t cost the Democratic Party electoral votes? But no, I still get the random “I can’t believe you wasted a vote on Nader.”

    I agree with much of what Crystal says, but I don’t think people should vote just because it’s their duty. Our office gets so many people who aren’t informed about who to vote but do so because they think they have to. Let’s not vote without first being informed.

  6. Amanda

    I agree that it’s important to vote but I don’t agree with how the presidential election is ran. I wish it was based on the majority vote. I mean you grow up voting for your class president, homecoming queen, prom king and queen etc. based on who wins the most votes. WHY when it’s most important do we have to base our presidential election on the Electoral College?

      • Amanda

        That’s really just the tip of the iceberg on the whole presidential election for me. I have a list a mile long about other things I don’t like about it.

    • Kitt

      Do you realize how difficult it consistently is to count every vote cast out of upwards of 130 million people? The electorate spent three days after this past election counting the votes from the state of Florida, long after it became clear from the *electoral college* that the president had been re-elected. The same applies to the 2000 election, when Florida’s votes were so heavily contested. And the votes in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc. were not much easier to tally. If the election was decided on a majority vote, it would be like in the early 1800s when voting took place over a period of a week; it would just be impossible to figure out who really won.

  7. Kitt

    And also, Eric’s claim that “California votes always go to Democrats” is utterly false. Only twice in U.S. history has a Republican nominee won an election without winning California also: in 1880, when James A. Garfield, the Republican, lost California to Winfield S. Hancock but took the election anyway, and in 2000, when California’s votes went to Al Gore, Jr., but George W. Bush edged out a five-vote win in the college.


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