Your vote always matters

Your+vote+always+matters

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Kayla Mutchler, Editor in Chief

The power is in your hands. Whether you’re voting for president, men or women of Congress, senators, or as local as the mayor of your town, it’s all up to you. Every election counts, and you can make your voice heard.

When someone says, “My vote doesn’t matter,” it means that you believe that you, as an individual, do not determine the outcome of an election. Perhaps, that is true for one person; but that’s not true when half of the country thinks that.

Nearly half of the country did think that in 2016.

According to a Penn State study, in the 2016 presidential election, only 58.1% of the voting-eligible population voted, which is about 138 million Americans. Although it may seem like a big number, it still means 41.9% of the population didn’t vote.

This means, had the other 41.9% voted, there could have been a different result.

The Electoral College has a lot to do with this. To win an election, a candidate must win at least 270 out of 538 electoral college votes.

Electors in your state are supposed to vote for your votes, too. For example, Connecticut has seven electoral votes, and two senators and five members in the House of Representatives. Whatever the majority vote of the state, that is what the electors are supposed to vote, too. Some states have laws that require electors to vote for the same candidate that wins the popular vote in the state, while others do not.

Your vote matters. You vote for the people that vote for the president. These electors are voted in based on their loyalty to the party, so they are supposed to vote for the majority leader. Though there are faithless electors, this did not affect the 2016 election.

If it isn’t a primary election year, midterms matter, too. You vote for senators and House members, which determine policies relevant to your state. Those votes are based solely on the popular vote.

If thousands of people once again believe that their vote doesn’t matter, the 2020 election could look similar to the one in 2016. If it is still available in your state, register to vote at vote.org.