Voting is not where our citizenship should start and end, but it is one way to shape the world and the future as you hope to see it. This election feels particularly special to me since 2020 is the women’s suffrage centennial. Despite this, though, there are still far too many people in this country—and, more often than not, people of color—whose right to vote is suppressed. We need to remain aware of this injustice and continue working to ensure that everyone’s voice can be heard when we choose our next leaders.
I’m ashamed to say that when I first voted in 2016, I recognized the names at the top of my ballot but had no clue who was near the bottom of it—in other words, I was only familiar with the federal and higher-level state candidates. I’ve since realized what a shame this is: the candidates running for municipal and county office have a much higher impact on our day-to-day lives than the person in the Oval Office. This election, I made sure to carefully research all of the candidates, and it felt incredibly empowering to make informed decisions on the candidates at all levels of my ballot. I used ballotready.org to get information about the records and policy agendas of all the candidates I’d be voting for. While I did have to do some outside research on candidates whose agendas weren’t uploaded to the platform, it was a great way to get informed, and I’d highly recommend it. So go forth and vote: it’s both a duty and a privilege, but there are still ways to find joy in it.