by Jessica Goolsby
Did you know there’s an election happening on March 3, 2020? A lot of people either don’t vote at all or only see the presidential election as the important one. This is not true. Voting, a fundamental right granted to every American citizen, is so often overlooked despite how monumental it is to society.
Perhaps you take voting for granted, assuming that your vote won’t really make a difference; but according to thebestcolleges.org, “(today) the voting population includes almost equal parts millennials and baby boomers. As the boomer electorate decreases in size, experts suggest it is merely a matter of time before millennials become the largest and most powerful group driving future elections in the U.S.”
What this means is that the younger generations are holding just as much power as the older generations but choosing not to vote. In the 2016 presidential election only 19% of people ages 18-29 voted. When the youth choose not to show up for elections, they are allowing for someone twice their age to make decisions that will ultimately affect them the most. Issues that are important to you may be determined based on who is elected.
The presence of the Electoral College, in presidential elections, may be what caused this skewed idea of a vote not counting. The Electoral College is made up of electors chosen by a state’s party affiliation, oftentimes through a vote by the party’s central committee.
After the electors are chosen for the Electoral College, they will then cast the actual vote for the president, usually a month after the general election. The number of electoral votes that each state has are based on the population of that state. California is given 55 electoral votes, which is highest in the nation. California has a winner-takes-all situation, so whoever wins popular vote in our state will get all 55 of our electoral votes.
As of right now there are 18 democrats and four republicans running for president. The primary election on March 3, will narrow that down. The winners of these primaries will then go on to the presidential election in November 2020.
When getting ready to vote, there are a few essential things to know.
1. Make sure you are registered to vote.
2. If you’re new to the area or living on campus make sure your address is one you can receive mail to and check frequently. Those that are already registered can edit their addresses online.
3. If you have moved from a different state, you will have to re-register.
4.Receive a sample ballot. According to lavote.net, sample ballots are mailed to registered voters or can be found online.
5.Vote by either polling place or by mail. As long as your mail-in ballot is postmarked by or before Election Day and received within three days, it will be counted.
If you are worried that either you will not know who to vote for or that you will forget your choices, the sample ballots include candidates, their statements, your assigned polling place and a vote-by-mail application.
I want to press how important it is to vote. Voting affects everyone, whether you care about human rights issues or the economy. The process ensures that leaders who pledge to change our nation for the better are elected. It doesn’t take long to make your vote, and in taking part, you can change the course of history.