To Vote is Power

If you are able to vote, why wouldn’t you exercise that power? In the United States, we are made to believe that our vote doesn’t count. We are made to feel helpless in the condition of our society. We are made to think our voice isn’t valid. How could a single ballot possibly make a difference on a national scale? I’m here to tell you that we, as individuals and as a community, matter. And getting into the voting booth is an act of power in which you can amplify your voice for the people and things you care about.

With the US midterm elections soon approaching, it is crucial to stay politically informed and updated. Who are the running candidates? What are their stances on certain issues? Do their values align with mine? What propositions are being voted on? What does it mean to vote yes or no on this proposition?

There is no denying that understanding the inner workings of our complex government is confusing and difficult. Oftentimes, the language is too verbose for the basic citizen to decipher, in-depth information is tough to come by without dedicated research, and many partisan media outlets release unreliable and one-sided news to the public. Being an informed voter is a daunting task that requires constant consciousness and vigilance. If you feel lost in the divisive maze of politics, you are not alone.

I, for one, am completely intimidated by the responsibility of voting. Fortunately, there are people out there who are dedicating their lives to informing the public on what the hell they’re voting for. BallotReady and Vote411 are incredible resources as they congregate information from verifiable sources to provide a simplified, nonpartisan guide of the running candidates, local to federal levels, and the various preposition measures. That way, less time is spent on translating government lingo and more time is focused on educating ourselves so we can fill out those ballots with confidence.

It’s easy to assume that an individual doesn’t matter in the grand scheme and one vote won’t change anything. But that’s exactly how power gets unjustly and unequally consolidated within the elite class as not voting is the equivalent of silencing yourself. Although it’s unlikely one vote will become a historical tiebreaker, we must remember that we are one of many and one submitted ballot is a contribution to the whole of our society. So take some time to get informed. Don’t let the labels of political parties dictate your decisions and research nonpartisan guides to allow you to form your own opinion, your own voice. Because your vote matters. Your voice matters.

- Julia Eunji Choi -

Raylene Pereyra