With the 2020 election drawing near, you really need to get it in your head that voting is one of the most important things you can do right now as a United States citizen 18 years of age and older.
Especially now, during a time of turmoil, this election is like the long-awaited conclusion to an extremely upsetting year. You are probably hearing the same message over and over again on Instagram stories and Twitter reaching out to every Gen Z kid to register, but from my personal experience, they never explain why it's so important. With that being said, I'm going to give you a little voting guide; why it matters and how to go about doing it this year.
Our nation's lack of young voters doesn't go unnoticed.
According to a Tufts University study, only 68.5% of college students who were registered to vote actually cast a ballot in the 2016 election. While this beats the college voter turnout in the Presidential Election prior, that's still a substantial amount of people who aren't voting, and that's just among students who are registered to vote. Imagine how many students are not registered at all and the impact they could make if everyone could cast their vote.
America's been independent for over 200 years, but not every American citizen was given the right to vote until the last century.
In 1870, the 15th Amendment was ratified in Congress stating that "voting rights can not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." 2020 marks the centennial of the passing of the 19th Amendment. So ladies please commemorate the Women's Suffrage movement my voting! Please honor what these groups fought for years ago and uphold their memory by registering.
The winner of a state's popular vote almost always gets the state's electoral vote.
The Electoral College are electors that come together every 4 years and their sole purpose is to elect the president. The number of Electoral College votes is based on the population of each state they represent, not necessarily the number of people that voted. For instance, Pennsylvania has roughly the same population as Illinois, meaning they have the same number of Electoral College votes. Hypothetically if the Pennsylvania voter turnout is 71% of eligible voters and the Illinois turnout is only 37%, the Electoral votes will still be the same amount as always, and will side with the majority.
So in this scenario, it appears that Illinois is for one presidential candidate, but 63% of eligible voters didn't even cast a vote and if they did, Illinois could have swung the other way, causing the Electoral vote to change. This is why it's important to cast a vote. Yes, one vote might not make a big difference, but a couple hundred can change the course of an election!
It seems as though with the pandemic still happening, voting will be difficult this year. The important thing is to register for a mail-in ballot as soon as possible. Due to new budget cuts, the USPS is slower than usual so to make sure your vote counts, it's important to register now because the registration deadline for Pennsylvania is October 17.
To register to vote in Pennsylvania: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegi...
To request a mail in ballot: https://www.votespa.com/Voting-in-PA/Pages/Mail-an...