Here are 5 reasons why your vote matters

Jackson Bayer, Columnist

1. Voting means you care about your community and your state and your country—and it’s important that you vote in elections at all of those levels, because all of the people you vote for will hold positions of power over you and represent you in the place you live.

You might be reading that and saying, “Hey, I don’t know anything about any of the candidates, so I can’t vote for someone that I don’t know anything about.”

First of all, you’ve had plenty of time to do your research. Luckily, you still have time. Also luckily, you have the internet, and finding out who each candidate is and what they stand for has never been easier than it is now.

You can check out candidates’ websites, news articles about them, and my personal favorite, their Twitter pages—all of those things can make you a much more informed voter.

Please vote, and please research your candidates and please, please, please don’t form your opinions about them around the things your weird uncle posts on Facebook.

2. Your vote could be the deciding vote in a super close election.

I know you may be thinking, “Elections are huge and never close enough for my vote to actually affect who wins.” Oh yeah? What about in 1839, when Marcus Morton was elected governor of Massachusetts, winning the election by just one vote?

That one vote seems like it mattered a lot. What if someone who voted for Morton had contracted smallpox, or their horse had contracted smallpox, or broken a leg or something, so they couldn’t go into town to vote?

That would have changed the whole election. Your vote could be that vote.

3. You may think it doesn’t matter who you vote for, maybe because you don’t trust politicians in general, or you think Illinois is a lost cause, so it doesn’t matter who’s in office.

That’s not true. Your vote matters. Go vote.

4. You may have the mentality that your vote doesn’t matter, and you may also feel that a lot of other people share that mentality.

Now, just think for a second, what if literally everyone had that mentality, and nobody actually showed up to the polls and nobody voted?

Like, nobody.

Would that be a powerful political statement, or just, like, really sad? What would even happen at that point? Would there just be a long series of coin flips to determine who gets each office, probably broadcasted on live network television (or maybe even streamed exclusively on Netflix, because, you know, 2018)? Would, after watching the results on live TV, people take to the streets to protest and riot, and would society then plunge into a purge-like state of hysteria? Would you survive the purge? You won’t have to find out if you vote.

5. If you don’t vote, then you don’t get one of those “I voted” stickers.

You know you want one of those stickers.

Jackson Bayer is a senior English and creative writing major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].