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Swing State Or Not: Five Reasons Why You MUST Vote In This Election

As we enter the final hours of an election campaign that has divided the country more than any other in United States’ history, you could be forgiven for wondering what it was all for. Sure, you get that you should vote but would it really matter if you didn’t? The answer to this question is a resounding yes. Whether you’re Republican, Democrat or Independent, whether you reside in a swing state or the safest county in the country and whether this is your first or last visit to the polls, you MUST vote in this election.

The media saturation, insulting discourse and divisive nature of this campaign has definitely turned some people off and that is fair, it really is. But hear’s the thing, all those rallies, debates and political appearances on every type of media platform imaginable count for nothing if we the voters don’t engage and have our voices heard. Yes, it is cliched but it’s also the truth and there really is no virtue to sitting silently on the sidelines for four years dreaming of what might have been. 

With that in mind, here are our top five reasons why you MUST vote in this election.

  1. There is more than the President being elected: While Trump and Clinton have dominated the airwaves, one could be forgiven for failing to remember that there are a plethora of other races being decided in this election. Most crucially in this regard are the Senate and House of Representative races. Securing a congressional super-majority in either the Senate, the House or both can change the entire dynamic of a presidential term. So whether you are a die hard Republican in California or a heart on your Sleeve Democrat in Texas, you can still have a major say. At present, Cook reports that there are eight Senate races and 19 House seats that are complete toss-up’s in States from Illinois to Wisconsin to Nevada.
  2. The Margin of Victory Is Important: Even if you reside in a state or congressional district that is a complete lock for a particular party or candidate, the size of victory can determine the mandate that this elected official enjoys. This is particularly a feature of House races and even though you may be on the losing side in this election, denting the margin of victory of the official you detest makes it harder for him/her to ignore their constituents during the four ear cycle.
  3. Higher Turnout Makes Democracy More Representative: The more people a vote, the more accountable politicians are. Bernie Sanders Democratic campaign highlighted this perfectly where, even in defeat, he was able to move the policy goalposts of the Democrats significantly to the left. If you feel strongly about a matter, vote and not just for president but down the ticket. In general, midterm and congressional elections have a much lower turnout than presidential ballots. This has a direct consequence on what your preferred presidential candidate can do.
  4. Voting Is A Right Many People In Other Countries Are Still Fighting For: While voters in the US may be put off by long lines, those in countries like Afghanistan face far higher risks in their attempt to express their civic duty. Despite serious threats from the Taliban, women in Afghanistan turned out in record numbers in 2014 to cast ballots in local and presidential elections.
  5. You Must Vote Tomorrow, Without It You Have No Voice: Yes it is a little cliched but it is also very true. Without a vote you don’t have a voice. If noting else, voting allows you to legitimately complain about your President, Senator or House Representative for the next four years without feeling that inner pang of hypocrisy.

Photo Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

 

A freelance political writer with a particular interest in writing stories that are under-reported in mainstream media outlets. Especially interested in voting behaviour trends, emerging and marginalized demographics and the impact politics has on culture - music, film, theater. An Irishman abroad, he enjoys sport, guitar music and film.