Your Vote Matters

How speaking up in politics can change your life

Your+Vote+Matters

Every four years, the entire country looks to the presidential election to see how the government will run for the next term. However, it may not be national politics that change your life. Being an educated voter in both national and local elections is an important step towards being a responsible citizen.

National elections are given so much attention each year, from constant media coverage to political merchandise covering houses and streets, that local and state elections are often overlooked. So many people focus on casting a vote towards Donald Trump or Joe Biden as president instead of Chris Peterson or Spencer Cox, the candidates for Utah’s next governor.

A Copper Hills US government teacher, Scott Adamson, explained, “The electoral college is how we vote for the U.S. President and that is done as winner-take-all elections among the states. So if you vote for the person that does not win the state your vote literally has no value in the end.

With a population of over 300 million people, your voice is easily lost in the chaos of different ideas regarding how a country should be run, so many people don’t vote. Andrea Hinojosa, the Copper Hills AP US history teacher, said “40% of eligible voters didn’t vote. 92 million people. 60% sounds pretty good, but when you put it into the numbers, a lot of people didn’t vote.” 

A 2019 study by the Bipartisan Policy Center discovered that areas with large minority populations, high population density and lower income families experience longer lines and an overall less productive voting experience. Not voting is a huge issue in certain communities, especially with white higher income families who have the luxury of a mindset where local politics don’t affect them.

When thinking of how national politics will affect everyday life, Thomas Manning, a Copper Hills psychology teacher, likes to think of the country as “a large boulder moving slowly.” By the time a proposed bill goes through the long process of lawmaking and is enacted in every city and community, so much time has passed. When looking at local politics, those changes are seen so much quickly and can change our lives.

US government teacher Scott Adamson said,  “I am a major proponent of voting… My biggest complaint about those that complain ‘about government’ is they are often the person that does not vote.  The hypocrisy of that drives me crazy.  Vote, vote every time.” If you are unsatisfied with how things are in your community, don’t miss the opportunity to make an active difference.