You should care about our democratic process

Voters in Georgia stand in line on Oct. 12, the first day of in-person voting. Photo courtesy the Los Angeles Times

The 2020 presidential election made history as a record number of ballots were cast, with most people opting to vote early. With this in mind, many Americans felt proud that they were able to contribute to history. However, despite the numbers, if we learned anything from the results of this month’s general election, it’s this — every vote counts.

Every year, there are eligible voters who decide not to cast their vote. In 2016, about 100 million people did not vote in the presidential election that resulted in Donald Trump’s win. People cited their dislike for both candidates and their belief that voting does not matter as reasons for why they did not participate in 2016. Now, we are seeing the same sentiments being shared again even though many say this was the most important election of our lives. Luckily for 79,657,438 Americans, Joe Biden has been named the victor but that still does not negate the fact that it was very close to going the opposite way.

In states like Georgia and Pennsylvania, the votes were nearly neck and neck. In Georgia, Biden received 2,474,623 votes while Trump received 2,461,929. That means Biden won by 13,124 votes. According to the Associated Press, Pennsylvania was not much different as Biden won by 81,361 votes. While some do not seem to find anything wrong with those numbers, their closeness is a cause for concern as to why Americans seem to not care about being involved in our democratic process.

Even now, Trump has called for recounts as he asserts that the numbers must be wrong. His campaign filed lawsuits in three states: Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Georgia has confirmed Biden’s win, but recounts are still happening as Trump seems unwilling to let this election end. With the votes so close together, who knows when he will concede. One thing we can say is that if more people voted, it would be harder and harder for Trump to avoid admitting defeat.

People have been discussing the passivity in this country since election results started to be announced. A lot of people expressed disappointment and anger on social media when speaking about people not voting this year. There has always been a certain amount of apathy in this country when it relates to politics because people view it as a distant theory that could not affect their daily lives. However, for the last four years we have seen how it does affect us, and it is not always in a good way. Voting always matters. Next time when we have the chance to change our country, make sure you are doing your part to help.