If you are in the United States and are able to vote, you really, really, absolutely should. Even if you don’t like either of the presidential candidates, there are a bajillion other races that will also have an impact on you – local, state, congressional, assorted ballot measures. (And if you really, really don’t want to vote for president, I know that in Washington, at least, you don’t have to vote the entire ballot. I’m sure we’re not alone in this.)
If you think not voting is “cool” or “ironic”, I’m here to tell you you’re an idiot. There are too many people like my dad, my uncles, my grandpa, and family friends we made in the nomadic journeys of my childhood who sacrificed – and continue to sacrifice – a lot so that we can have the freedom to decide who gets to lead our country. If you happen to not be white, there were many states in which you couldn’t vote as recently as the 1960s, and if you’re a woman, you’ve had the right to vote (nationally, at least) for less than 100 years.
You might not think the things you have to decide on won’t impact you. They will. Things like education, healthcare, reproductive rights – all of these things and more will be impacted by who you vote for, and these are all things that impact you, however indirectly. No longer in school or have kids who are in school right now? Education should still concern you, because the students in our schools now will probably be the people you’re voting for in the future. Don’t have lady parts? You should still pay attention, because the decisions your lady is allowed to make about her lady parts will ultimately impact you. Don’t need to worry about health insurance? You should, because your employees can’t come to work if they can’t afford to take care of themselves.
Maybe you don’t live in a swing state. My sister texted me just yesterday that voting for a Republican for president in Washington State is pretty much a lost cause. But that shouldn’t stop you. In Washington, we might not know who our next governor is for at least a week. We might be legalizing same sex marriage, charter schools, and marijuana today. In my parents’ district, they have a candidate running who used the phrase “that rape thing” in an interview, and he has a pretty good chance of winning because of redistricting. So, regardless of where your state falls on the electoral college spectrum, your vote still matters. There are too many other races that could be decided by a handful of votes that are too important for you to be an idiot and not vote. (Just for the record: “rape thing” guy almost won my district two years ago. He was edged out by a margin of literally hundreds of votes. And if you still think your vote doesn’t matter, Google the 2004 and 2008 Washington gubernatorial elections and the 2010 Senate race. YOUR VOTE MATTERS.)
I’m not here to be partisan and tell you who to vote for.
Because that’s what my Twitter account is for. All I care about is that you vote. If you don’t vote, I’d better not hear you complaining tomorrow.
P.S.: If you’re registered in Washington State and haven’t turned in your ballot yet, you still have time! Your ballot only needs to be postmarked by today, so as long as you drop it in the mail and the post office picks it up today, your vote will still be counted even if they get your ballot a week from now. Go turn that thing in.