Your Vote Matters. Let’s Talk About All Of The Reasons Why.

Can we count on you to help us create change?

Although it is always important to remain politically engaged, especially polarizing elections like the one we’re witnessing require all of our involvement. With spikes in cases of voter suppression, rises in voter turnout rate in Deep South states and debates about the access to mail-in-ballots, it’s important to take a moment to discuss why your vote is more important than it’s ever been.

Since the 19th century, women, people of color, and Black people have fought for the opportunity to vote. Even when these marginalized groups were finally allowed to vote by law, it was far from the reality of those on the ground. It took centuries of causes like Women’s Suffrage (which Black women were heavily involved in) and Civil Rights Movements to secure sustainable policy that would allow Black people, women, and people of color to vote equitably. Activists like Sojourner Truth and Fannie Lou Hamer fought across generations to ensure future generations’ access to their fair share of political power.

It wasn’t until over 10 years into the Civil Rights Movement that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, which gave all Black Americans to the chance to vote. Yet although this was a triumph, it also helped identify states where voter suppression and intimidation were rampant, with some of those same tactics are being used to deter eligible voters from showing up to the polls this year.

In Michigan, far-right winged group members sent out robocalls, falsely claiming that by voting by mail, people’s personal information would be released to “the man.” Meanwhile, in swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania, Trump supporters can be seen waving Trump 2020 flags and yelling at voters though bullhorns around the clock at voting sites.

In addition to intimidation, many voters have reported longer-than-usual lines this year, as some counties only have one polling location for thousands of votes. Although voters are still experiencing high levels of suppression all over the country, there has been a shocking display of high voter turnout rates in southern states like Texas and Alabama. Voters are showing that they cannot be deterred, no matter how intense suppression efforts may be.

Some people believe their votes only matters in local and state elections, and that voting in national elections is pointless. But even in national elections, every vote matters.

One of the most compelling reasons as to why your vote is vital this year is that national elections can, and have been, won by slim margins. During the infamous Bush vs. Gore election in 2000, former president George Bush won the election by a mere 537 votes. The election was highly contested, much like this one, and votes were counted down to the last second because of how close the race was. A similar situation could happen this year, so it’s important to show up—even down to the last hour.

This year’s election has been a whirlwind to say the least, which justifiably has filled this moment with uncertainty. Centuries of protesting against suppression and marching for equitable voting has brought us to yet another moment in history where our political power is more important than ever. In honor of those who fought for us, we must exercise our right. So mask up and vote.

Photo credit: Brooklyn White

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