Arrington’s Advice: Voting is Vital

President+Donald+Trump+and+former+Vice+President+Joe+Biden+debating+on+current+issues+and+events

CNN

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden debating on current issues and events

Arrington Linder , Editor-in-Chief

Just weeks away is what some might call the most important election in United States history. Since the rise of COVID-19, many people will be voting for the candidate they believe will bring this country out of the pandemic, as well as their thoughts on nominating a new Supreme Court justice; if the current president should choose the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor or the president elected after November third. Many people, myself included, are active in politics and have firm beliefs and opinions but are unable to vote. This election is vital in deciding the path for our country for the next four years; if we want a president who has done little to nothing to subdue the pandemic or a president who has known the severity of this disease since the beginning and has created plans to help the country, if elected.

Although you are eligible to vote once you turn 18, not every eligible voter chooses to use their voice. In the 2016 general election, an election in which the winner of the popular vote was not the winner of the presidency, over 95 million eligible voters did not vote. For reference, 126 million eligible voters voted, meaning that 42% of eligible voters did not. Numerous arguments are used in favor of not voting including the Electoral College, not wanting to vote for any of the candidates or simply too long of lines. Although all can be seen as valid arguments, especially because the popular vote was not the deciding factor during the 2016 election, it is important to not throw away your vote just because none of the candidates are exactly to your liking.

If you are like me, then you have done your own research outside of your family’s beliefs and have become active in speaking up for your own views, despite most likely receiving backlash. If President Donald Trump continues his presidency, he will work to lessen the rights of people of color (POC), women and the LGBTQ+ community. Myself and many of my friends fall into at least one of these categories, so the winner of this election will unfortunately be the deciding factor in whether or not I get to keep some of the rights given to me or if they will slowly but surely be stripped away. I would give anything to vote in this election, seeing as some of my freedoms are at stake, but there are many people who do not vote because the issues at hand do not affect them. Although President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are not our dream candidates, to me, the choice is clear.

Regardless of if you are voting for President Trump or Biden, your vote matters and you must vote based off of what you believe is best for the country. There are many states that are historically red or blue, meaning the Electoral College’s decision is typically set in stone, however, there are eight states this election classified as ‘swing states.’ These states consist of a relatively politically divided population where either candidate could win them over. President Trump and Biden do not focus on historically red or blue states, seeing as they already know they have won them over, but instead they focus on winning over swing states, as these states will work to determine the winner of the election. Although Politico.com does not consider Texas a swing state just yet, we are slowly beginning to turn purple, meaning both parties are equally supported, yet President Trump is still favored in this state. For this election, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are all classified as swing states and currently, Biden has an edge in all but Wisconsin. This edge is what will hopefully win Biden the presidency, but nothing is a given unless you go out and vote.

As stated previously, some people do not vote because they are not a fan of either candidate, however, a vote for Biden is a vote for Biden, whereas a vote for President Trump is given if you vote directly for him, choose not to vote, or vote for a third party. Because of this, if you do not want President Trump to win, the only way to ensure Biden gets your vote is to vote for him. That being said, if you want President Trump to win, you should still vote. Do not let your vote go to waste simply because you feel like one of the candidates already has it, or because you believe your vote does not matter. One person not voting might not do much, but if hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people believe their voice will go unheard, then it will.

Because the majority of students attending Creek are minors, they are unable to vote, however, there are some seniors who are 18 and all of the faculty and staff are eligible to vote. With early voting, mail-in ballots, drive-thru voting, etc., voting is more accessible than it has ever been. These numerous voting methods allow people who might not have previously voted due to severe anxiety that hinders them from standing in line and voting, being worried about the pandemic and bringing the disease home to loved ones, not having the time to stand in line and many more, to vote. The deadline to register to vote has already passed, however, the deadline to vote has not. Early voting in Texas has already started, but the official election day is November third, giving people more time to cast their ballots.

Aside from making sure you are already registered, one of the most important things to do before heading to the polls is research. We hear headlines everyday about President Trump and Biden and while they may be true, how much information is actually given? Biden and President Trump’s websites have detailed information about their policies and goals for their term, so reading up on those before you vote is extremely essential. Do not let your vote be tossed to the side because you do not know who to vote for and do not end up regretting your vote because you chose not to do your research. Focus on the topics important to you and understand the candidate’s term goals and understand that although you are only one person, your vote matters.