In the United States, the general election is coming up in a couple weeks. While every election seems like "the most important ever", this one is particularly noteworthy. We're in the middle of a global pandemic, climate change is creeping closer, and economic inequality abounds.
American democracy is under attack. Voter participation has been incredibly low over the last couple decades, and blatant voter suppression tactics are deployed regularly, like limiting the number of ballot drop boxes or polling places to make it difficult to cast a ballot.
Despite our historic lack of participation, early voting levels are drastically outpacing past elections!
While our country faces a deep political divide, I do think we can all celebrate the fact that more citizens in this election are exercising their democratic right to vote. High levels of voter participation theoretically leads to representatives being elected who more closely mirror the desires of the populace. And it's my hope that high turnout will lead to many broadly popular policies (weed decriminalization, infrastructure and healthcare improvements, progressive taxation reform, etc.) finally being enacted by the politicians in D.C.
I know many people are unhappy with the choice for President. But there are far more elections on the ballot than a single office. Even if your favorite presidential choice doesn't win office, you can still have an impact on your local and state races, who are arguably more integral to making things happen that you'll notice in your day-to-day life.
So go get educated. Read voters guides, newspaper and union endorsements, the candidates platform, and any other reliable information you can find. Then cast your vote for the people who are closest to building the world you dream of.
The last four years have been a mess for me. Voting for Joe Biden, despite him being one of my last choices, was an incredible opportunity for me to be the change I wish to see in the world. I've felt a bit powerless following politics over the last few years. Submitting my ballot felt amazing. I did my bit for building a better world.
Please, do your bit too!
If you're new to voting or need a bit of help, Vote.org is a fantastic resource to help you exercise your civic duty and one of the most important democratic rights you have!
Let's smash turnout records. Let's get the will of the people heard and give the next government (regardless of who wins) a clear mandate to enact their agenda and (ideally) make the world a better place.