Vote November 3; people's lives are at stake, use your voice

We are very quickly coming up on the next presidential election. Millions of people have already practiced their civic duty by voting early. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3 this year. 

Leading up to Nov. 3, I urge you all to take this time to properly educate yourselves on the election and the candidates, as well as what’s at stake. Consider your options seriously, and look at all of the facts. 

Watch the presidential and vice presidential debate. Fact check them. Look for which candidates answer the questions that matter to you, and watch for exactly how they answer (or don’t answer) those questions.

Do your research on the candidates. Gather information on what their stances are on important issues. Look into what their plans are for when they potentially win the election. How will they change what needs to be changed? How will they maintain what is solid enough to remain? Ask yourself what is important in a leader, and look for those qualities in the candidates. 

My voice matters. Your voice matters. Everyone’s voice matters. Voices won’t be heard, though, if people don’t exercise their duty and right to vote. 

I remember when I was old enough to vote for the first time. I was so excited to finally be able to make my opinions and voice heard on a higher level. 

The thing is, though, that my voice, as a straight, middle-class white woman, has always been heard. My life has always mattered. The same can be said for a lot of people like me. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for everyone in the country.  

It’s time to shift our view to those who are not so fortunate. It’s time to think about those who are being shown time and time again that their lives don’t matter. They are being shown this not only by fellow citizens, but people in positions of power. 

We must vote now, not only for ourselves, but for those whose voices are not and have never been properly heard. 

At the end of the day, it’s not all about me and it’s not all about you either. It’s about our country as a whole. Land of the free, home of the brave. Do we see these qualities being represented in our country today? Do these words ring true for every single group of people in the country? Is this really how everyone feels about the United States? Is this really how the United States makes marginalized groups feel day in and day out?

My answer to these questions is no. There is so much more that can and should be done to ensure that every person in our country feels that their lives matter and their voices are heard. You and I have a very important role to play in this: voting. The time is now. 

Vote for change. Vote for equality. Vote for Black lives, which matter. Vote for LGBTQ+ lives, which matter. Vote for the better of our nation as a whole. Vote. See you at the polls on Nov. 3. Or not, if you choose to mail-in your ballot. 

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.

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