Your Vote Counts

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On November 3rd, America faced one of its most important elections in recent years. This election alone saw record breaking numbers from the polls and mail in ballots. The results from this election should prove to people that their vote does in fact count.

Over the past few years, there has been much debate over if a single individual’s vote makes a major difference in election results. In the young adult community especially, it is very hard to find young people who are excited to exercise their right to vote. However, this recent election has seen a surge of votes from young adult voters.

According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), 53 percent of eligible youth voters casted votes in this election compared to the 45 percent in the 2016 election. This sudden rise in young voters, among other new voters, really made the difference in this 2020 election. For example, young voters nationwide voted 35 percent for Trump, while 62 percent of young voters voted Biden which ultimately propelled them to a victory.

These election results should inspire young voters who did not vote to get out and vote in the next election. As statistics have proven, one vote alone can help propel a candidate into office. If you have a candidate who you want to represent you in office, you have to do your part to make sure that they can get that position.

Another community that needs to exercise their right to vote more is the black community. Similar to the young adult demographic, the black community feels as though their votes would not count and would not make a difference to their situation. However, the first step in trying to make a difference is by exercising your right and using your voice to vote for a candidate that holds your values.

The black community should especially vote because they have worked hard to be able to vote. African Americans were granted the right to vote in 1870 when the 15th Amendment was passed. However, the black community faced multiple tactics of voter suppression including literacy tests and poll tax which kept many of them from voting. It was not until the Civil Rights Era when in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Voting Rights Act which made literacy test and other voter suppression tactics against black voters unconstitutional.

Since the black community fought hard for the right to vote, their fight should not go in vain. Even though the community still faces voter suppression, it can be fought by instilling into the community the importance of voting. Once black voters start seeing other black voter’s votes count in big elections, they will want their votes to be heard as well. Voter registration drives that teach black voters about voting, candidates, and policies can help increase the black vote in America.

Although there is still work to be done regarding the black vote in America, there is still hope based on the black turnout in the 2020 election. According to the Associated Press, black voters made up 11% of the national electorate college with 9 out of 10 of them supporting President-elect Biden. The 11% amounted to 110,000 voters nationwide according to the AP VoteCast.

The young adult and black community have made strides when it comes to making their voices heard through voting. However, there is still work to be done not only in these communities, but among all people in America. Americans must know that their vote does count because their vote holds weight in election results. Take voting seriously because it’s how local communities, states, and the entire country is shaped.

Morgan Bridgeman is a Junior Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Jackson, Mississippi. She will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2020-2021 school year.

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