Checking the Ballot

This is an opinion piece. Amelia Payne is a Sophomore at Mendham who writes for school news. All of the views expressed in the following editorial are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Patriot.


Photo courtesy of CNN

Amelia Payne, Staff Writer

November is approaching fast, and on the presidential nominee list, we have Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Arguably not the greatest selection, but a selection nonetheless. Many may be discouraged from voting. Would either of these two be a good choice for this country? Still, despite everything, every eligible voter should vote this 2020 election.

The fight for the right to vote for everyone was a long one, with many hurdles and challenges. Despite your single vote not being the tiebreaker, the more people vote the greater chances either side can get to win. Especially with close calls, with astoundingly small margins between votes. A case like this would be the 2000 election between George Bush and Al Gore. National Geographic says “The election came down to a recount in Florida, where Bush had won the popular vote by such a small margin […] Bush won Florida by 0.009 percent of the votes cast in the state, or 537 votes”. When it comes down to it your vote along with many others can make a difference. The point is the more people who vote, the more voices in the country are heard. This country was built on democracy and the idea that if the government didn’t please you, you could petition and protest and fight for what you believed in. These ideals are still the same today. If you do not take up on your right to vote, your voice is not heard. It would be a mistake not to.

It is the basic right of all Americans to vote, this will impact where your tax dollars go, your healthcare, etc. As an American, you have the right to decide all of this. You have the right to choose who you want to represent you on a global scale. Dr. Cobb, Chair and Associate Professor of Government at Suffolk University, says that “the vote is the basic building block that gives people the power to control their government and to shape what policies they want and the future direction of their town, state, and country”. It is so important to vote, and new eligible voters must take this opportunity to help their country, and to help themselves. Whether it is for Trump or Biden, your voice counts. It is why voting is a basic American right! It is your right as an American to see to it who you want in the oval office, it is your right as an American to disapprove of who comes into the office this November! The direction the country is going it might seem very uncertain right now, but if we as a country come together and vote, it will become clear what the people of America wish to see in America. Our direction and our progress as a country can and will only be clear if everybody votes.

With COVID still a threat in our country, mail-in ballots are the favored choice of the nation. Since it is contactless, mail-in ballots are a safer option for the public, and a lot more convenient for voters who would prefer to stay indoors. Despite this, mail-in ballots are seeing some backlash, even from President Trump himself. Mail-in ballots have their faults, timing isn’t always precise when it comes to snail mail and ballots with minor mistakes on them will be rejected. As well, the chance for fraud is higher with mail-in ballots. CNN reports “349 of the nation’s 538 Electoral College votes — or 65%. That’s one reason a winner might not be declared right away on election night”. It is one of the reasons why Trump supporters and Trump himself are calling the polls rigged in advance. Despite the occasional faultiness of mail-in ballots, for some, the convenience and simplicity of the process will encourage them to vote. It should encourage you too! If you are precise in filling out your ballot and sending it in on time, you shouldn’t be worried about rigged votes. There will always be holes in the system, but that should never discourage you from using your right to vote.

We as a country have been through so much to give everyone the right to vote. Our country was built on the idea that the common person would be represented in the government, that they would elect their officials so that they could vote in the change they wanted to see in their country. It is still the same today. No matter who you are voting for, it is crucial that you use your right to vote so that you can play a part in the actions of this country and its future.