What Makes You Powerful?

by Blake Coleman ’22

We’ve heard it a thousand times- “Register to Vote.” Obviously democracy is important, but really, why should I vote? What’s my one vote against 327 million? And that’s a good question- one that this excerpt from the Yes Theory Newsletter answers quite nicely.

“240 years ago colonists of the U.S couldn’t elect their representatives.

That inability to pick who governed them ignited the American Revolution.

An estimated 23,800 men subsequently died fighting for their freedom.

100 years ago, women weren’t allowed to vote in the U.S.

Decades of protests led by the courageous likes of Elizabeth Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Stone changed that.

54 years ago African Americans couldn’t vote.

Twenty years of the Civil Rights movement put an end to that.

Tens of thousands, dead and wounded.

On the battlefield.

On the streets.

Brothers, husbands, sisters, mothers and sons.

So that we could all have that same freedom.

So that you could choose who speaks for you.

It’s so easy to take it for granted.

It’s so easy to remove ourselves from politics.

To become disillusioned.

Reluctant to participate.

I’m guilty of it too.

With 327 million Americans alive today, how could my vote possibly matter?

But, imagine telling that to a wounded soldier in the Continental Army.

Who’s just lost his best friend in battle.

Or a black woman in the 1960’s.

Who’s just been hosed down by police officers.

What do you think they’d say?

Do you think they’d agree?

Or would they beg you to remember.

Pray that you recall the cost of your freedom.

How much blood was shed.

So that you could take an hour out of your day to fill out a ballot.

I know our democracy isn’t perfect.

A lot of what’s going on in Washington, from lobbying to gerrymandering, is f***ed up.

But that’s why voting matters.

It holds those who do wrong accountable.

It ousts those who don’t work for us.

It makes politicians think twice.

That’s the power you have.

That we all have.

And I’m not going to tell you who to vote for.

That’s up to you.

That’s not my place.

But please, go.

Don’t take it for granted.

Appreciate your freedom.

Honor those that fought for it.

And work to improve it.

Just like our ancestors did.

We’ve been passed the torch.

Now it’s our job to light the way forward.

November 3rd.

Get out and vote.”

It’s time to register! But before you begin, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. 

  1. Although you may REGISTER as early as age 16, you may not VOTE in the 2020 Presidential election unless your 18th birthday is on or before November 3rd, 2020.
  2. You must be a legal United States citizen.
  3. In order to register in Washington State, you must also be a legal Washington State resident.
  4. You will need a driver’s license, permit or state ID card. If you do not have at least one of these, you must register in person.
  5. Registration for the 2020 United States Presidential election must be completed before October 26th.

Ready to register? Click here.