Why Your Vote Matters
posted 2020 Oct by
It might seem odd for a baby care company to dedicate a blog post to voting. But we firmly believe that voting is the driving force behind our democracy. A better democracy means better lives and opportunities for our customers, our community and our business, so we're using our platform to talk about this important topic.
The right to vote is so valuable, so consequential, and so critical that generations of Americans have marched, protested, fought and died to secure it and uphold it. At the same time, there are motivated forces who are making a concerted effort to block voters - specifically Black voters - from the ballot box.
Why has voting always been such a flashpoint in America? Because the very foundation of our country depends on The Vote.
In a Democracy, voting is the purest expression of the voice and power of the people. It is the method by which we choose our President, Senators, Congress Members, Governors and State Legislators – those are the political offices most voters pay most attention to. Too often, however, citizens overlook the importance of voting for political offices that are closer to home, like County Commissioners, School Board Members, Sheriffs, and Judges. Those offices are also extremely important because the people elected to those positions not only determine the laws that impact our neighborhoods and local communities, but those same elected officials also often eventually rise through the ranks of government – the local Judge or Sheriff you elect today may someday become the Supreme Court Justice or Department of Homeland Security Official of tomorrow.
When you vote – or don’t vote – in local, state, and federal political races, you are laying a foundation for the laws that will impact your daily life at home, and the lives of millions of fellow Americans throughout the country.
The sad fact is that less than half the country regularly votes, and most of the eligible voters in America who fail to show up are younger people aged 18-29. What that means is that the majority of us who are not voting have handed over our power to a select group of voters – those are the people who are electing the officials who determine the laws that impact all of our lives. If you’ve ever wondered why government seems to work better for certain people and not at all for others, the answer can be found when you look at who voted for the politicians in power. The entire purpose of a properly functioning democracy is for every person to have a say in what goes on, and when less than half the country is voting, more than half the country is at the mercy of a few.
There are so many ways to participate in the elections process – even for those of us who are too young to vote, or unable to vote due to citizenship status or prior criminal convictions. We can all get involved:
- VOTE! In every election. Without fail. Even primaries! Even if you cannot vote, we can all encourage everyone in our circles to actively participate in all elections.
- Be informed! Read up on political issues (both local and national) and figure out where you stand. When you research, seek out credible sources of information – Facebook is not a source of trusted news and information.
- Get out and talk to people. Even if you cannot vote, you can still voice opinions on social media, in your school or local newspaper, or other public forums. You never know who might be listening.
- Volunteer. If you support a particular candidate, you can work on their campaign by participating in phone and texting banks, doing door-to-door outreach, writing postcards, or volunteering at campaign headquarters.
Participating in elections is one of the key freedoms of American life. Millions of people in other countries around the world do not have that freedom, nor did many Americans in centuries past. Democracy and the Right to Vote is one of the greatest gifts we have as Americans. No matter what you believe or whom you support, it is important to exercise your rights, speak your voice, harness your power.
Voters quite literally have the future of the country in their hands.
For more information on voting, and resources to share with your community about voting and voting access, visit When We All Vote, a non-profit organization founded by our forever FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, to increase participation in every US election.