Another Rant on Why You Should Vote


Rune Torgersen, Copy Desk Staff

You’ve seen more internet sermons on the subject than anyone in the right mind could stomach. Your Facebook feed lights up with banner ads begging you to vote every two years around this time. Everyone and everything is screaming at you to go exercise your democratic right to a say in who decides the future of our state, and our country. So, like with any message repeated too many times, you’re very likely numb to it at this point. It’s understandable, but it’s also a massive problem.

Disinterest in political affairs means nobody is holding the officials in office accountable, and it perpetuates a plague of senators sitting in office in excess of 20 years. Thanks to gerrymandering, the practice of redrawing district lines to have a more single-minded voter base, every race is almost a given. One party has a ridiculous supermajority, and the other’s campaign is symbolic at best.

Not so for the eighth congressional district right here in Washington. The incumbent representative, Dave Reichert, a Republican, has announced that he’s stepping down from his long-held position, and the race between Kim Schrier (Democrat) and Dino Rossi (Republican) is at this point anyone’s game. Since the seats are so rarely chosen, the decision made this coming election day is likely to actually have some impact.

So, all of that is probably why your Facebook feed is exploding with ads for either one candidate or another, depending on what their algorithm has decided your political leanings are. All partisan politics aside, as tired as you are of hearing the same old arguments for going out and voting, they do still hold some weight. If you’re happy with the current administration, that’s how you support them and help them bring their ideas to fruition. If you aren’t, voting is how you finally make that change you’ve been wanting for the better part of two years now.

Having only recently attained my own citizenship, this will be the first big election I’ll have the opportunity to vote in. I moved from Denmark with my family back in 2005. Since then I have gone through the whole process from visa to green card. It took us until 2017 to finally achieve citizenship, test and all.

I’ve sat by and watched the people around me make excuses for deciding not to take part in the process since I turned 18, and I can say with confidence that the only thing you really accomplish by abstaining from this cornerstone of democracy is depriving yourself of the right to complain. Got a problem with how this country is run? Put your vote where your mouth is and make it count. It all sounds harsh, but the gist of this whole opinion piece is that I’m tired of people throwing away a right I worked 12 years for.