The Most Important Piece of Advice I Could Ever Give You

votingI’ve been busy creating and tweaking this site, and today I wanted to present my first content filled post, one of a series I had been preparing to kick off the blog.

Because of the events of this week, however, I want to take a moment to talk about something else. Something vastly more important than any other piece of advice I could try to give you.

I want to talk about voting.

Now, if you’re not an American native, this post may not pertain to you much. But if you are, or if you’re from a country where you have the ability to vote and elect your leaders, then buckle up.

As I stated in my first post, I am 25 years old. I was born in 1990, smack dab in the middle of the Millennial generation.

I grew up in Kentucky, the land of Southern Baptists and the GOP. A land mostly filled with hatred for anyone who is different, who doesn’t believe the same things, and who thinks women are capable of more than being stuck in a kitchen.

Like many others in my generation, I grew up with a fairly cynical view of politics. For a long time, I didn’t understand how Presidential elections work. I thought that, because of the electoral college, my vote didn’t matter.

But I was very wrong.

Here’s a brief summary of how the electoral college system works:

  • Each state appoints Electors, equal in number to how many congressional members a state possesses.

  • So for example, every state has 2 Electors based on Senate members, and how ever many House members that state has.

  • These Electors are appointed to cast their votes for a Presidential candidate, in a winner-take-all fashion (except Maine and Nebraska), meaning that whoever wins the majority of Elector votes in a state gets the total number of votes. First one to 270 wins.

This is why the National popular vote doesn’t matter: because we don’t elect a President on a National level.

Candidates have to win the state elections, and therefore the votes of the state’s Electors, in order to win.

In short, the outcome of the state election is what determines who the final slate of Electors will be.

So how does that work?

When you vote in the election, your vote doesn’t actually go toward your candidate. It goes toward the party of the candidate that you vote for.

Depending on the number of votes a party gets, this final slate of Electors is picked from a pool of potential Electors that have been nominated earlier in the election year. These Electors are nominated by each party, and are usually pledged to vote for that party’s candidate.

Reneging on that pledge is very much frowned upon, and can incur legal action.

What does this mean for you? Does all this confusing political mumbo jumbo mean your vote for President doesn’t matter?

Not.

At.

All.

Your vote matters. A lot.

The popular vote of a state is what determines who the Electors are going to vote for.

It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds. The Electoral College may seem stupid, but it is important. It gives smaller states with fewer people more weight, so that they are on an equal playing field with states who have greater populations.

I don’t care who you vote for, who you support.

All I care about is making sure that you understand that EVERY VOTE MATTERS.

This is especially true for Congressional elections, because the President has very little power. Congress is who makes the rules.

So get out there and vote the next time you have the opportunity to do so. The future of our country depends upon it.

– Rachel


“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”     – Lincoln

One Comment

  1. Kristin

    Great explanation of the Electoral College – so many people are renouncing it’s effectiveness, not fully understanding how it works (which is a completely separate problem on it’s own, since it can be argued that the majority of Americans have very little knowledge of how our government works). Awesome post, Rachel!

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