Submitted by Myra Klockenbrink, Greenwich
Vote While You Can
It is true we take our vote for granted. Two hundred and forty million people were eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential election and roughly 158 million or 66 percent got to the polls. 2018 was a bit of an anomaly, but on average 40 percent of voters show up for midterm elections.
Our system doesn’t make it easy to vote. People have to carve out time to make it to the polls and this responsibility often competes with jobs and childcare and access to the polling site, which is why early voting, mail-in voting and absentee ballots are crucial to getting every voice heard. It is also true that a persistent perception prevails that one vote doesn’t matter in a sea of other votes.
But votes count. One by one they make up a consensus that this person is a better representative to serve our values and our communities than the other candidates. Without the votes democracy does not work.
So here are five reasons to vote:
- Your vote does matter because it is your opportunity to stand up for what matters to you, whether it be local schools, the environment, decent housing or economic fairness.
- Your vote is your voice. Not all people have had a voice and many others have died to expand the voter franchise. Not voting is letting their efforts go unrealized.
- Your vote is your bank. When you vote you are “spending” your tax dollars on the issues you care about, letting your legislators know where you want your money spent.
- Your vote is your chance to be the change you want to see in your world. If you believe rights should be expanded or corporate privileges curbed, elections are your chance to affect change.
- Your vote is part of our civic contract. We live together in society and we have a responsibility to our communities and our country. For example, children cannot vote, but their interests need to be represented. Our environment cannot vote, but it needs to be protected through the representation we send to our legislatures.
Show up. Vote. Do a jig and be happy you live in a democracy.