What’s In a Vote?

By Doc Anderson

Managing Editor

         The 2020 election left many voters disillusioned with the voting process. Claims of voter fraud blanketed the media coverage for weeks. One of the most important elections in the history of our country quickly turned into a tennis match of he said she said. President Donald Trump took to social media to call into question the legitimacy of President Elect Joe Biden’s victory. With the midterm elections quickly approaching, legislatures in many states have taken steps to better secure the election process. Some view this as voter suppression, others see it as necessary to ensure legitimacy. Still others are wondering, “If politicians are just going to cheat, does my vote even matter?”

        In a republic, such as ours, every vote matters. On voting, Founding Father Samuel Adams once said, “He is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” No one talks like this anymore. In today’s society, voting is viewed as a waste of time, burden or even worse a retaliatory tactic to take against an enemy. The 2020 election did nothing to alleviate the voter apathy our nation is experiencing. Instead, our politicians, by way of the corporate media, deliver us a spoonful of skepticism in the voter process.

         There is a cure for the puppetry of our leaders and the corporate media. Ironically, the cure is to vote. Organize groups and get involved in your community. Pay attention, on the local level, what is going on around you. The voter has always had power, but that power is increased when voting on the local level. The midterm elections are often overlooked, but I would argue they are markedly more important than the federal elections. Electing local representatives that share the values and goals you share is paramount. We need only look at the state by state handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to see proof. The mass exodus of Californians and New Yorkers for Texas and Florida is all the evidence I need. The electing of local officials led to a very different experience during the lockdowns.

         Some voters assume their vote doesn’t matter. It is an easy perspective to understand. Our republic is vast with a very dense population. What difference does one vote make? In 2017, the Virginia 94th house of delegates election illustrates the importance of every vote. The Virginia State Board of Elections declared the Republican incumbent candidate, David Yancy, winner by just 10 votes. Democrat challenger, Shelly Simonds, demanded a recount. After the recount was conducted, Simonds was declared the winner by one vote. Both candidates fought for judicial overview. This overview consisted of a tribunal ordering the winner to be decided by drawing a name from a hat. I’m not joking. The winner was chosen the same way we choose team captains during P.E. Never in my life has there been a more perfect commercial for voting.

         Every vote matters. As we learned from the ridiculous Hollywood movie franchise, Fast and the Furious, “It doesn’t matter whether you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning.” Register to vote and pay attention to what the candidates are saying. It’s hard to listen to politicians, but if you’re not listening, they will try to steal your lunch money. Your one vote could be the difference between a runoff election or your candidate winning outright.

In Texas, election day is March 1, 2022. Celebrate your citizenship and initiate change in your community by voting.