The Importance of Each Vote

Voting is a concept used by the United States and other democracies around the world to elect local and national government officials. These include presidents, governors, senators, representatives, mayors, etc.

In the United States, millions of voters head to the polls on Election Day to cast their vote for political candidates that they think will best represent them or serve their interests. In addition to electing their local, state and national representatives, voters also make their voices heard by supporting or opposing bond legislation on Election Day.

Many different kinds of issues are decided on voting day, such as how to fund local education, new public transportation projects, local tax deductions for homeowners and much, much more.

However, studies show that the U.S. voting turnout in presidential elections averages at just around 50% of people who are eligible to vote. This is surprising considering how many issues — from international foreign policy to local tax laws — are decided either directly or indirectly at the polls.

By taking the time to vote after researching the candidates and laws showing up on their ballots, Americans can help ensure that they are holding public officials accountable and hopefully improve the quality of their lives. Read on to learn more about why voting is important and why each vote counts.

Voting Creates a Representative Democracy

United States government officials are elected and replaced using a democratic political system. In order for a country to have a successful democracy, citizens must exercise their civil right to vote. The more citizens who exercise their voting rights, the more a government will be accurately represented.

Throughout American history, unequal voter turnout has become the norm. Higher rates of white Americans have consistently outvoted minorities such as African-Americans, Hispanics, young adults and people of low- income in U.S. federal elections. All citizens are equal before the law, which is why each citizen should utilize their right to vote.

Each Vote Affects the “Presidential Mandate”

Voters in favor of a less-popular candidate, who is unlikely to win the election, should still cast their ballot on Election Day. Each vote affects a president’s mandate, which is the president’s authority to carry out a policy or course of action designated in his or her program. The electorate gives a mandate to a candidate or party that wins the election. However, if you cast your vote for the losing candidate, it will still limit the mandate the winning presidential candidate can claim once he or she is in office. The ratios by which candidates win or lose is one of the most important factors once an election is complete.

Every Vote Matters

The common perception of nonvoters is that, even if they vote, it will not make a difference because it is only one vote. The United States has experienced tight presidential elections throughout history, which is why a single vote can make all the difference. For example, in 2000, the election between George W. Bush and Al Gore came down to a single state and only a couple hundred votes.

Regardless of whether you are a member of the Democratic, Republican or Independent parties (or whether you have no party affiliation at all), you are encouraged to make your voice heard on Election Day by casting your vote.