Your Vote Matters


Karlos Mancilla

Every four years, the American people have the responsibility of voting for President of the United
States. During the last election cycle in 2016, The Washington Post estimates that 100 million registered
voters did not vote. However, early voting turnout in this election featuring Joseph R Biden (D) and
Donald J. Trump (R), has totaled to 74,741,250 early votes cast as of October 28, 2020, which is 54% of
the total votes casted in 2016. Already surpassing all early votes casted in 2016 per The US Elections
Project. Experts are projecting a close to, if not record, turnout. People on all sides of the political
spectrum have stressed the importance of voting in this election.

The use of mail-in ballots, like this one, is expected to drastically increase due to the pandemic.

The Blue And White asked English and Debate teacher, Mrs. Brown, on the importance that voting has on
our democracy: “Voting is the core of a democracy, or in our case a Republic.” The election is yet
another thing that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected. Whether it affects the candidate
someone votes for or how they’re voting, this virus has left its mark on the election. When asked about
the pandemic’s impact on the election, Mrs. Brown tells us, “I think the pandemic is one reason people
are voting early–I know that is why I voted already. We know that at any minute we could be in
quarantine.” In addition, Mrs. Brown believes that the civil unrest in the wake of the deaths of George
Floyd and Jacob Blake have increased voter turnout: “I do think that the summer of protests will turn
into action at the polls. There is a desire for change and reform.” As mentioned earlier, a rather large
amount of registered voters did not vote in 2016 and there will be people who won’t vote in this
election. “I find that disappointing and incredibly frustrating. People suffered and died for the right for
so many to vote. I understand that sometimes the choices aren't great, but it is our responsibility,
nonetheless… our vote matters. In 2000, only 537 votes determined the election. If you don't vote, I
don't want to hear any complaints about the State of the Union next year," Mrs. Brown says of those
who didn’t vote in 2016 and those who won’t vote in 2020. Mrs. Brown also stressed the importance of
America’s younger generation (18-29-year-olds), who turnout, according to PR Newswire has increased
by 31%. “Younger people must vote–they need to advocate for themselves and the future they want to
create. Otherwise, only the desires of older folks will be represented.”

We also spoke to senior Timothy Randolph, who is registered to vote. Timothy explains to us why he
chose to register and vote now as opposed to later on down the road. “I registered to vote to make a
difference for my future.” Randolph adds, “Voting is one of the most important things a citizen can do
for this country.” He also stresses the importance of your vote: “Voting is important because who we as
the American people vote into Congress, control our future.” Timothy even has a message to those who
haven’t voted: “If you’re saying things aren’t how you want them to be, then why aren’t you voting.”

Voting has been viewed by many as one of the fundamental pieces of a democracy dating back to
Ancient Greece. We here in America can say that after years of hard work, struggle, and for some even
death, America is one of few countries that grant our citizens the right to vote in all levels of politics. We
at The Blue And White can’t tell you who to vote for, but what we can tell you is, once you’re old
enough, get out and exercise your right to participate in our democracy.