It’s Election Day. Do you know where your vote is? If you’re keeping it in your back pocket, you may be doing yourself and those around you a civic disservice.
The fact is that your vote could make all the difference in not only swaying an election, but also in fulfilling your duty as a proud American citizen.
‘BUT, MY VOTE DOESN’T COUNT’
We’ve all heard the claim from nonvoters that their one vote simply doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, especially in the presidential election, which is determined by the Electoral College.
Not so fast, say politicians and provoting organizations.
Here are some important events in U.S. history that were decided by just a few votes, according to the State of Illinois:
• Richard Nixon, not John F. Kennedy, would have become president of the U.S. in 1960 if one person from each voting place had voted differently.
• If just one U.S. Senator had voted differently, U.S. President Andrew Johnson would have been removed from office in 1867.
• Texas might not have become part of the United States in 1845 if one U.S. Senator had voted differently. The vote in the U.S. Senate was 27-25 to invite Texas to become a state. If it had been a tie, Texas would not have been asked to become part of the Union.
‘BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO VOTE’
General discomfort can be a major factor in keeping many people away from the voting booth.
If voting intimidates you or you need motivation in keeping it on your schedule, involve a family member or acquaintance in your planning process. Coordinate to meet the morning of the election and head to the polls together.
Voting with a significant other, parent or close friend can help calm any nerves and also help you from backing out. Add in a breakfast, lunch or dinner to make the event a memorable one that you may turn into a regular occurrence.