As we inch closer to Election Day, you’re no doubt going to be hearing more hot takes and opinions about why your vote doesn’t matter. While it can be a healthy discussion to be a part of, there are a couple reasons why the Vote isn’t dead. Keep these two things in mind before you refuse to head to the polls.
When you get in line at your local polling station, you aren’t just casting a ballot for president. Depending on where you live, you may be voting for state or local office. The latter is especially crucial, because what your City Council, comptroller, and municipal executives have a huge impact on the daily affairs of where you live. Like it or not, the Chief Executive has no real bearing on the efficiency of your town’s sanitation, public transit, or housing. The oval office may be calling the shots on an (inter)national level, but if you want to feel change, then voting for local offices may have more of an effect you’re looking for.
But OK, let’s talk about presidents for a moment— the nominees are quite literally the talk of the town. Whether you’re a hardcore Trump or Hillary supporter, there is no denying that the two nominees are uncharacteristically unpopular this election cycle. Taken at face value, that statement isn’t remarkable. Of course, a red voter doesn’t generally vote blue, and vice versa. I’m speaking of an unpopularity to be found within party lines. From the announcement of his campaign, GOP leaders have been jumping ship and refusing to endorse Trump. For the democrats, discontent isn’t coming from party leaders, but from constituents. Many former Bernie Sanders’s supporters are vocally anti-Clinton, and despite calls from leadership to rally around the elected candidate, they refuse. Voters from both sides are considering the leading third-party candidates: Jill Stein (Green) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian). We’ve seen in the past how an active third-party run can disrupt an election (Bush versus Gore), and with potentially four candidates in the mix, the numbers game could get more interesting.
Voting for your candidate of choice in this instance could matter more that you think.