By Cory Berlekamp
Once again, the country has coming up to the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, election day. And with this country sitting at what seems to be a boiling point, it is time to take a stand for what you believe in.
As a person with strong convictions and opinions on almost everything that I have come across in my 30 years of life, I relish in the ability to be able to feel like I have a voice in the direction of my country. This feeling has only grown over the past two years but let me clarify, everyone should vote. This is not a call to action of one side, if you believe in something then why not participate in building that belief into a reality?
According to an article published by the Pew Research Center in May of this year, only 56 percent of voters that were of age participated in the 2016 elections.
“The Census Bureau estimated that there were 245.5 million Americans ages 18 and older in November 2016, about 157.6 million of whom reported being registered to vote,” wrote Drew Desilver. “Just over 137.5 million people told the census they voted in 2016, somewhat higher than the actual number of votes tallied – nearly 136.8 million.”
According to the article, this is only slightly higher than the previous presidential election. And with how the country erupted after the Nov. 2016 election, it only makes me wonder that if someone was so mad, why didn’t they vote? But if the turnout in the primaries is any indication of what is to come in next week’s elections then it seems people will remember to vote this November according to another Pew Research Center article.
“Nearly a fifth (19.6 percent) of registered voters – about 37 million – cast ballots in House primary elections, according to the analysis of state election results,” explained Desilver. “That may not sound like a lot, but it was a 56 percent increase over the 23.7 million who voted in 2014’s House primaries; turnout that year was 13.7 percent of registered voters.”
Now the midterms might not seem as important as voting for the big man or woman in office but these elections are where a vote can really count. These votes hold the future of candidates that control the House and the Senate and issues that may be very important to you. The midterms are when state and local elections count, when your voice is not a far cry in a sea of hundreds of millions of other ballots. It also decides which party controls which chamber of congress for the two years.
So if you hate something then go out and change something. Even if something bothers you a little bit, make the effort to look up your polling location. That way even if the election does not go the way you wanted, the next time you are fuming to another shopper at the grocery store you, at least know you tried to change the world around you.