Why Vote?

Why Vote?

In 2016, 138 million Americans voted. That may seem like a lot, but that’s only 58.1% of eligible voters in the US.


65 years and older voters had a 70.9% turnout for the 2016 election, while 18-29 voters had a 46.1% attendance.


Voting is so important in both federal and local elections.


A lot of young people argue that their vote doesn’t matter.


Follow along, and I will show you how much your vote does matter.


And if you haven’t registered to vote, click this link!


Understanding the Electoral College


The Electoral College is a group of people determined by each state’s population and forms each year to elect the president and vice president. Each state gets a minimum of 3. States like California with large populations have 55 electoral votes, for example. The way that each state chooses an elector changes state-by-state, as determined by their laws.


You need 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.


These electorates generally vote determined on what the popular vote was in their state. But these electors, as all Americans do, have the constitutional right to vote for the candidate of their choice and are not bound by any prior pledges they may have made and can vote opposite of the popular vote, which is called a “faithless elector.” In 2016, seven votes were cast this way.


A candidate wins the presidency with the majority of electoral votes, not the popular vote.


In the 2016 election, Donald Trump won the electoral votes but lost the popular vote to Clinton. But this has happened in multiple elections, not just Trump vs. Clinton.


Why do we have the electoral college, you may be asking.


In 1787 when creating The US Consitution, the size of the country made it hard to communicate. Many smaller states favored the electoral college because they feared if it were a nationwide popular vote, they wouldn’t have a say in who becomes president. Many southern states favored the electoral college as well because slaves were a large portion of the population; slaves couldn’t vote but still counted towards the population. So the creation of the electoral college was born 200 years ago.


Importance of voting in local elections


State and local elections are not electoral votes, but popular vote and are usually considered the most crucial election to vote in. (But don’t take that as the presidential election isn’t necessary, please vote).


State and Local elections are important because they affect you directly, and change usually begins in your local community. These elections have to do with:


local education
policing and public safety
affordable housing
minimum wage
Environmental protection
And much more…


Local government leads the way when the federal government isn’t. You can hold your local government accountable, and when the federal government isn’t doing anything, it’s the local government’s responsibility to take action.


State elections also determine who will be representing your state in the House and Senate, which is the federal government, checks and balances, all that jazz.


I hope that I convinced you to vote in local elections but let me persuade you to vote in federal elections, too.


Yeah, I agree that it does feel like my one vote doesn’t matter when voting in the presidential election. But when a large group of people votes the same, you can undoubtedly sway an election. When I say a large group of people, I am speaking directly to the smallest voter group, 18 to 29-year-olds—ever heard of strength in numbers.


Let me go on a tangent for a minute—me, a 23-year-old, speaking to my fellow 18 to 29-year-olds.


We should be the biggest turnout of state, local, and national elections. Why do you ask?


Because it will affect us more than any other age group. We make up half of the eligible voters, which creates a powerful political force for change. We are the most diverse group. We are usually the ones who are hit the hardest in economic recessions. The candidates we vote for may not affect us now, but the laws and policies they put in place may affect us in the long run—our vote matters.


For the love of God, VOTE.


I’m counting on you.


Check out my blog posts each week. I usually don’t get political, but I do offer some marketing tips and tricks.

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Courtney Reiber