WHY YOUR VOTE REALLY DOES MATTER – Marilyn Armstrong

I hear a lot from many people, including in my own family, that “my vote doesn’t matter.” The reasons given range from “I live in the country and it’s just the votes in the cities that make the difference.” There’s some truth in that and it is frustrating, particularly on a local level.

Then I hear “None of this has anything to do with me.” That’s pretty hard to accept from a kid living in HUD-managed reduced cost housing and who survives on Social Security Disability. And a woman.

Others include “This state is so blue, my vote won’t matter.” That’s how we elected Trump.

The thing is, the vote isn’t just YOUR vote. Your vote is one of the millions of votes never given.

In the last election, more people didn’t vote than did.

One person doesn’t vote? No big deal. A dozen people don’t vote? Still no big deal.

When millions of people don’t vote? That’s a very big problem not in a single election, but in all elections. For years, we have had more non-voters than voters in national elections and in mid-terms, the voting is even worse.

If everyone like you and me will vote, we fix the problem. Voting means millions of people will get their ballots counted. I know my vote doesn’t count because not only do I live in a hugely blue state but because Boston has so many more votes than the rest of the state combined. However, Boston goes, so Massachusetts also goes.

This is true in every state that has one or two major cities which hold the concentration of voters. New York, for example, sets the votes of the state. As New York city votes, so goes the rest of the state — even though New York is a large state and is primarily rural.

You’d never know it from the vote count. Those of us who live in the country don’t have much impact. But if everyone who can vote actually votes, it would change the country’s demographics.

Because the truth is, we don’t know how those non-votes would vote. There are so many of them, they could create a third-party that could change our entire political system.

Collectively, we matter. Unless you are planning to run for office, you will always be one of many. Or as we say “E Pluribus Unum.”

It’s our national motto and it means “One From Many.”

Be one. Be part of the many.

Many things need changing, but we need people in office willing to change the status quo. To create an amendment that eliminates or massively alters the Electoral College. A serious rewrite of the second amendment. We need some legal requirements about who can hold office, especially the presidency.

We have a great constitution, but it is hundreds of years old and needs an upgrade.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

36 thoughts on “WHY YOUR VOTE REALLY DOES MATTER – Marilyn Armstrong”

        1. Apparently, you MUST vote in New Zealand and Australia, but a lot of people just check something off without knowing what that means. I think it’s like rehab for drugs. If you don’t WANT to, it doesn’t work.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. That constitution you speak of may be hundreds of years old but it’s a solid document, one we, even as modern folk, can be proud of. Whether we live up to, or by its doctrines, is entirely another story. This president, if you can call him that, had the audacity to think he could, by executive order, change our constitution on a whim. OUTRAGEOUS! to say the least. It’s clear this man wants to be king, or dictator systematically destroying all that we’ve worked on for those same hundreds of years. It’s pretty clear, based on recent events, that there’s much work to be done to come, even close, to following our constitution. Today, I look at it, only, as a good place to start.

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    1. I don’t want to rewrite the constitution. But we need a rewrite on the second amendment and some clarification fo things our forefathers never imagined. We have a lot of amendments. We need a few more.

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  2. What you wrote about how one or two major cities in a state (e.g., Boston or New York City) will determine how the state vote goes is true for presidential elections decided by the Electoral College, as well as for races for US senators. But it’s not true for Congressional districts in the House of Representatives or for seats in the state legislature. Those are really local elections and even in blue states like California and Massachusetts, there are many Congressional districts that are won by Republicans and many seats in the state legislature that are held by Republicans. So, from my perspective, even if you don’t live in an urban area, your vote counts because there are local candidates for state legislature and for the US House up for grabs.

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    1. Actually, truth be told, the only elections where we who live in the Outlands have any clout ARE local elections, but half the time, we don’t know when they are. They are not on standard election days and usually, you know because there’s a big billboard on the common they remind people what (if anything) is going on.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. If we could make LOCAL elections count, we might actually improve the likelihood of counting in the bigger elections. Basically, if people would just come out and VOTE, it would matter. They slide candidates in — unopposed — which to me isn’t an election. It’s an appointment.

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      1. I agree… perhaps there could be easier ways to vote… though it shouldn’t take above a few minutes, and doubtless any electronic vote would be open to abuse 😦

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  3. –annnnd, most importantly, if you don’t vote, you have no business complaining when “your guy” loses. There should be a niggling little tickle in there somewhere that says, “ohhhhh, you might have made a difference…”

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  4. Reblogged this on rjptalk and commented:

    Important thoughts on the upcoming election. My thoughts on senior voting also appears today on SERENDIPITY. Be sure to hit “View original post” at the bottom to follow over to SERENDIPITY for these articles.

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  5. Many here feel there is no point to vote. Chicago is so blue Republicans usually don’t bother to run for office. The mayor has always been a Democrat in my lifetime. The 50 aldermen are mostly Dems with a few independents, who usually vote with the rest anyway. If Cook County (Chicago and suburbs) turned out big they could control the state. But the “collar counties,” those around Cook County, and the people downstate (small towns and farms), vote Republican. We have a Republican governor and have had Republican senators. The “We are so blue” why vote philosophy is killing us, which may be true if they cut Medicare and Medicaid any further.

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    1. We are the same in many local races. People run unopposed and they aren’t even linked to a party. The pay rate for a local rep is so absurdly low that it’s hard to even find anyone willing to do it. In Boston, it might be a step up to something more important, but here? It’s a step down from bagging at the grocery store.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There’s more to a vote than national politics. State and local political leaders affect our lives, too, and in that arena, everyone’s vote counts. Unfortunately, a lot of people focus on national politics and derive their “my vote doesn’t count” philosophy from that. Since the non-voting majority elected Trump, well? Two things I think are important. Ignore polls. Go vote.

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    1. We lost our BEST local rep in the last local election. We voted because we always vote but I can’t understand why he lost. I still don’t get it. He was good. I’m pretty sure a lot of people aren’t even sure they HAVE a local government. It’s a bit vague when you don’t even have a mayor and aren’t clear on who the selectmen are or what (if anything) they do. My guess is “not much” along with “steal money.” We do, however, have local reps to state congress. Even senators. Exactly when they are up for election? I don’t know. The often run unopposed. I don’t understand the point of an unopposed election. I would call that “an appointment.”

      I used to cover elections for a local newspaper. They were all the same and they all understood NOTHING. They were the descendants of whoever used to be the selectmen. As you pointed out, we could secede with all of Worcester County and no one would notice. Worcester County has zero clout. Yet we are the largest county in the state. The only thing we have going for us is the heaviest snowfall outside of Maine. Pity we don’t have mountains for skiing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, our voice matters. This is what I wrote this weekend on my Facebook Page:

    My American friends had easily convinced me to join the campaign to build new classrooms at our children’s school. The measure was now on the ballot and time for voting arrived.
    “See you at the polls tomorrow,” one of my friends said, as we put our signs and banners away.
    “Let’s have coffee after voting,” said my other friend. “All in favor?”
    The three of us laughed.
    “Vote well,” I said. My friends looked at me. “You can vote, of course?”
    “I’m a permanent resident,” I said. “But I’m not an American citizen.”
    “But that’s not fair, you’ve worked with us! As hard as us!”
    My friends’ words were nice to hear, but I had always known that I wouldn’t vote. “This is a fair system,” I said. “I’ll vote when I’m a citizen.”
    As I drove home, I reflected on the fact that I wouldn’t vote and that I would have liked to vote. That night, my husband and I spoke for the first time very seriously about naturalization and decided that the time had come.
    Since I became an American citizen and wherever my family has lived I voted in each and every election.
    If you haven’t voted yet, exercise your privilege, right and duty.

    VOTE ON TUESDAY.

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    1. Voting early was easy in Boston, but out here, you had to have your ballot mailed, then mail it back because they polling place (old high school, now middle school) wasn’t open. So we will just go and vote like regular people.

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      1. I don’t know about Massachusetts but we get mail-in ballots, in Arizona, if you want them. If we don’t mail them in by a deadline, we can drop them off at any polling place, giving you two chances to “get er done.” Dropped mine off early this morning.

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        1. We have to GET it by mail, but we could drop it off at Town Hall. That was the ONLY place you could drop it off and they are open for just an hour or two in the morning — and mailing it was impractical. Who knows if it would ever GET there.

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