Are you going to the polls?
National Voter Registration Day was yesterday and it saddens me to think about how many citizens don’t vote. Voting is a right that keeps democracy alive in the United States.
Many times, I hear peers of mine say they “don’t care” or “don’t know enough” about politics and that’s why they don’t vote. This excuse is outdated and overused. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.
There are so many ways to get informed on the political issues at hand and the policies the candidates up for election support or don’t support. Many South Dakotans claim that their vote doesn’t mean anything because South Dakota has been historically, since 1964, a Republican voting state.
The issue I have with this is, yes, in a Presidential Election, taking into account the electoral college, the vote in South Dakota will most likely be for the Republican candidate. However, it is the job of the citizens in each individual state to vote for the elected officials in their state.
These officials, governors, representatives, senators, etc. have a hand in making decisions for not only your state, but also the country. If one wishes to change a state’s political standing, it needs to be done at the local level.
According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, it is estimated that “23.7 million young voters participated in the 2016 presidential election, a 50% voter turnout of citizens aged 18-29 in the United States.” That is disheartening. It is ignorant to believe that your vote doesn’t matter and quite privileged to say you “don’t care.”
There were citizens in the United States that wept last Friday night when it was announced the honorable Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away.
Many members of the LGBTQ+ community and women in the United States are scared that the progress she made in the Supreme Court could be overturned depending on who becomes the newest Justice will be.
Voting is their only hope, it’s the only power they have, as a citizen, to keep their rights, and fight for equality. When a person says they “don’t care” to vote, that shows how little restrictions and hardships they’ve had to face because of decisions being made by the elected officials they didn’t care enough to learn about and vote for.
Whoever you think it the right candidate is, is none of my business. However, just imagine if every citizen voted, we would know for certain who the rightful leaders are.
Posting on social media about voting and encouraging others to vote is one thing. Turning in your ballet is the action that will make the difference.
October 19th is the last day South Dakota voters can register to have a say in the 2020 election. I encourage you to use your voice in this upcoming election and educate yourself on the world around you, vote.