COLUMN: Our voices matter more than we think


Rob Le Cates

Katja Benz is a senior English major and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Katja Benz, Columnist

So, people voted on Tuesday. They could vote for governor, state representatives and senators. While Illinois has counted all of its votes, not every state has. Neither Arizona nor Nevada have votes reported, as of Friday.  

In Arizona, one of the reasons is a printing problem in Maricopa county, according to Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press.  

“About a quarter of voting centers in Maricopa County had a printing problem Tuesday, in which marks weren’t showing up correctly when voters showed up to print out their ballots,” Kinnard said.

“The issue ultimately got rectified, and election officials assured voters that every ballot would be counted.” 

That was minor in comparison to some political figures saying to drop off ballots on election day, the article adds. That also holds up the process.  

Something that has happened in both this and the 2020 election was that all Nevada residents are given mail-in ballots for voting so that their voice can still be heard, according to AP reporter Mike Catalini.  

“All Nevada voters are issued mail-in ballots, but Saturday is the last day that state law allows officials to accept them,” Catalini said. 

In 2020 alone, many ballots were counted post election night. Fortunately, the state had until Saturday to count as many as possible.  

“That year, nearly 15% of Nevada’s vote was not reported until after election night — and it took three days for the state to report 100% of the vote,” Catalini said. 

So, while it may be taking forever, people still used their voice to assert their opinions. Which is something we’re allowed to do. We’re allowed to pick the people that make decisions for us. The people that have our lives (and in theory our deaths as well) in their hands.  

I know it isn’t that simple and it never will be. However, using our voice is. Think about the things that matter most to you. 

Is it your family and friends? Is it the environment? Is it equitable access to college? Is it having the ability to safely walk outside at night? 

Is it having a chance to not teach in a classroom where you may have to risk your life to save the 20 innocent six-year-old lives that have been placed in your hands? 

What matters to you and how do you show it? I would at least hope that you show it by voting.  

If you don’t you not only aren’t giving yourself the chance to be heard, but you’re also doing something worse. You’re also giving up on what could become of the world we live in.  

Are you willing to let your voice shrink for naught? Or will you stand up for yourself and what you believe in? I’d hope you do the latter.  

Katja Benz is a senior English major. She can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.