Why your vote matters


Michael Benedian, Staff Writer

With the General Election coming up, it’s important for those who are able to utilize their ability to vote in this election. You might say that your vote may not matter, but thinking like that is what can lead to major impacts in your life and you can see this example throughout our history. 

In 2014, PBS covered how the 2014 midterm elections saw the lowest turnout since World War 2, with only 36.4% of eligible voters actually participating in the process. This resulted in Republicans gaining nine seats in the Senate, which was the largest Senate gain for any political party since the 1980s. Many Democrats expressed frustration at the result and looked to blame young voters who didn’t participate.

It wouldn’t be until 2020 when the turnout of young voters would actually see an increase. During the 2020 presidential election, there was a 39% increase of young voters compared to the previous 2016 presidential election. It’s clear from this data that young voters who failed to participate in the 2016 election regretted their actions and had to wait four years before making another difference.

Although this upcoming election is the General Election, it can’t be stressed enough just how important your vote means. This election is letting you decide not only the governor for California, but also the next Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Treasurer, proposition measures which will affect many U.S citizens and even candidates for the U.S Senate. 

Choosing your candidate for the Senate will have an impact on your future because unlike the President who can only serve a total of eight years, there is no term limit for the Senate. This means that if someone who shares opposite views takes a seat, that’s one less person who’s likely to pass bills that stand in line with your views. This is an important position for different political parties and young voters who should look carefully into who they put in that position of power.

It’s a lot to ask and if this is your first time voting it will be daunting too. Luckily, there are many resources that are available online for voters to help learn more about who and what they’re voting on. The 2022 Voter’s Guide located on the Calmatters website provides not only clarification on the different positions but even includes the propositions along with contributors who have given more than $100,000.

Oct. 24 marks the last day to register to vote for the General Election which will take place on Nov. 4. Even if you miss the deadline to register, you can still vote by visiting the county elections office or voter center on or before the day of the General Election and complete the same day voter registration to make your vote valid. If you have registered to vote, you should have already received your mail-in ballot which was distributed on Oct, 10 and if you never received one, you can still apply in writing for a late vote by mail ballot.

There are plenty of ways to vote and even the process is very forgiving if you fail to make the deadline. This shows just how important your vote matters and why all these opportunities are provided. Exercise your right to vote and be a part of democracy.