Beyond the White House: Why Voting Matters

ourvotematters

In order to achieve the change you want, you must head to the voting booth every year, not just every four.

Voting matters. No matter if you choose to vote or not. No matter if you choose to get civically engaged or not. No matter if you show up to the polls or not. No matter if you choose to vote down the ballot or not. To claim the right to equality, access, freedom and liberation, you must exercise your right to vote.

Voter Apathy is Threatening

As a community, we simply can’t afford to be apathetic. Evidence suggests that voter apathy plays a significant part in people’s decision on whether to vote or not. We see the repercussions of this in the form of congressional impasse and roadblocks on policy proposals.

Whether you care about gun legislation, immigration reform, women’s rights, or tax policy, it is imperative that you remain civically engaged not just during presidential election years, but during elections for our congressional representatives down to civil court judgeships. In order to achieve the change you want, you must head to the voting booth every year, not just every four.

The Effects of an Idle Democracy

After Obama’s “wave election” in 2008, mid-term congressional elections which came two years later, turned the tide. Republicans became the majority in the house, gaining 63 congressional seats, the largest seat transfer since 1948. Then came the blocking of Obama’s executive initiatives including the passage of the DREAM Act and appointing a successor to Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court seat. Finally we saw the rise of the uber-conservative Tea Party.

Low Voter Turnout

The large culprit was poor turnout among registered Democrats- the same voters responsible for catapulting Obama’s candidacy into the White House. Essentially, there is a dramatic shift in power from one election cycle to another, but we must never not turn out for an election as there’s too much at stake, too much to lose and too much to gain for our communities.

Votes Rule Everything Around Us

Politics truly does rule everything around us. That is our mantra and campaign slogan- V.R.E.A.M.- Votes. Rules. Everything. Around. Me. We pledge to always exercise our right to vote because by not voting, we’re ignoring the hundreds of years of our ancestors’ struggles to grant us this right. By not voting, we’re giving up our voice, our power and our right to participate in the political process and advocate for change.

To join our voter registration and voter education efforts, please connect with Civics and Economics Chair, Chanelle Brown.

Be sure to turn out for the vote on Tuesday, November 8th. Polls are open from 6am to 9pm. You can check your polling place here!

Watch the live results at NYULYP’s Election Watch Party on November 8th from 7:30pm-12:00am at Angel of Harlem, 2272 Frederick Douglass Boulevard New York, NY 10027. RSVP here!

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