Why Your Vote Actually Matters
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Politics and Activism

Why Your Vote Actually Matters

How political apathy is going to ruin America

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Why Your Vote Actually Matters
Tri Sigma Theta Alpha

As the primaries are almost coming to an end, you've probably noticed the insane amount of political nonsense on TV, the radio, and your newsfeed. Over the last few weeks, I've been among the thousands of millennials rolling their eyes at the videos of people being thrown out of rallies and candidates throwing shade at each other. I've joined the voices of millennials speaking out against the blatant dishonesty and racism in certain candidates.

However, even though my generation seems to be more politically aware, I have noticed a trend in the conversations I've had with my fellow 18-25 year olds. It usually goes something like this:

"Hey, so what do you think about (insert candidate here)?"

"Oh, I hate them. They're going to ruin this country."

"So, I assume you're going to vote for (opposing candidate here)?"

"Nah, my vote doesn't count anyway. No point in voting."

I'm not sure what happened between our 6th grade government class and now, but I think a lot of us have forgotten how this election thing works. So sit back, relax, and allow me to throw some knowledge on y'all.

Though people say that our government here in America is a Democracy, it's actually not. I know, say what? America is technically a Republic. In a Republic, you elect people to represent you in the smaller body of government. So, when it comes to electing the president, we've put together an Electoral College to keep the peace.

So, that brings me to voting. A lot of people think that the way we have set voting up has taken away the power of the individual's vote. Actually, the Electoral College is designed to make every vote count.

Here's a basic run down of how it all works.

Every state is awarded Electoral College votes based on how many representatives each state has, plus each state's 2 senators. For instance, Missouri has 8 representatives and 2 senators, therefore it has 10 Electoral College votes. This means that states with more representatives get more Electoral College votes. This may seem unfair, but actually it gives more voice to states with smaller populations by assuring that they have the same electoral power as states with larger populations. If the popular vote was used, the states with larger populations would dominate smaller states.

So what does all this political mumbo jumbo have to do with you?

Well, because we vote for the president based on a state level rather than the national level, your vote is extremely relevant to how your Electoral College votes are placed. Instead of thinking about how your vote could be drowned out in the millions of American citizens, think about your vote simply being cast inside your district.

This last primary, I was shocked to see the lack of 18-25 year olds at my polling station. The majority of people voting that day were 65 and older. In fact, 65 year olds are six times more likely to vote. Our generation, the generation that is now inheriting America, isn't even voting.

Contrary to what you've been taught, political apathy is not to be celebrated. It's time for 18-25 year olds to use that restless spirit at the polling station to change the future of our country. Whether you're "Feeling the Bern" or you want to "Make America Great Again," go to your polling station and let your voice be heard this November. Your vote does matter.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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