Ask the VE Ambassadors: Why Should I Vote?
Every Tuesday until Election Day (November 8th), the #PaceVotes16 coalition and Vote Everywhere Ambassadors will be answering the most common questions about voting in the upcoming election – from finding your polling site to deciding who you want to vote for. This week’s question:
Q: Why should I vote?
- Bust the stereotype
Time Magazine called Millenials the “me me me” generation and said that we are “lazy, entitled, selfish, and shallow.” But young people have been turning out to elections in record numbers in recent years – keep it up and prove them wrong!
- It’s your right – now
In the United States the right to vote was earned for many who reside here. In 1787, voting in most states was restricted to white-male-Protestant landowners. The ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 extended this to “All persons born or naturalized in the States,” but the votes of many black and brown males were not counted, or they were blocked from casting their vote due to racial prejudice in the form of physical, verbal and legal action that prevented many people of color from voting all the way through the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Women gained the right to vote with the 19th amendment in 1920 following a long struggle for suffrage, but young people under 21 couldn’t vote until the 1970s. The fact that people have died fighting for the right to participate in democracy should be enough to move you to vote on the 8th of November!
- Demand attention
When young people vote, politicians realize that they will need to address your concerns, or risk losing your vote. Make sure that your concerns are their concerns.
- Your vote counts
In the 2012 Presidential Election, youth voter turnout was a major factor in deciding in Ohio, Pennsylva-nia, Florida and Virginia. From federal elections on down to local elections, the margin for victory can be miniscule. New, young voters can be the deciding factor. Take part in building a better future for yourself and your antecedents – their world depends on your choices now!
- Make your own decisions
Even if you don’t vote, someone else will. Decide what’s best for YOU with your vote – and cancel out someone else’s vote for the candidate you don’t think represents your best interest.