Here's why your vote matters

December 10, 2020 10:32 AM

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Photo is a graphic of the word "Vote" with hands raised across American flag. Photo courtesy of of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website.

Photo is a graphic of the word "Vote" with hands raised across American flag. Photo courtesy of of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website.

It's 2020: the year of elections. There are 470 seats in the legislative branch that were open for election this year. This included 35 out of 50 Senators and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives. The president's seat was also up for election. These government roles are crucial in deciding national issues like health care, human rights laws, global warming and more. The official date for these elections was Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Have you ever wondered why people say "each vote counts?" Each vote matters because whoever wins the election is the person that represents you and your community. It can be someone you voted for, someone you didn't, or someone you don't have a preference for. During election season, you often hear about the president and people asking, "Who do you think will represent us?" Congressional representatives, on the other hand, are less frequently talked about, though. they have much more power than people realize.

The U.S. Congress makes and passes federal laws. The House of Representatives is one of Congress’ two chambers, with no more than 435 voting members that proportionally represent. the population of the 50 states. In the other chamber, Senators also have the sole power to conduct impeachment trials, essentially serving as “jury and judge,” according to the Senate’s website. Meanwhile, the president is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress. They appoint the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet. The vice president is also part of the executive branch.

For Mandy Sun, a senior at Boston Latin School, voting is important, especially in local elections. This was her first time voting, and she was really excited.

“I have been looking forward to it since tracking the primaries," she said. "I didn't think [about it] until late last year as I started to get more involved with advocacy, inspired by some of the videos by Obama stressing about voting."

Many people would ask themselves why they should vote.” There are many instances when the seat comes down to one vote. In 2019, Boston City Councilor At-Large Julia Mejia won and was elected by one vote, according to WGBH. Mejia was the first Latina elected to the council.

In 2020, over 150 million Americans voted in the presidential election, and in Massachusetts alone, over 3 million people voted. Joe Biden was elected with a total of 306 electoral votes while Donald Trump has 232 electoral votes. The vote count was over 80 million for Joe BIden and about 74 million for Donald Trump. There were different ways of voting due to the pandemic that included mail-in ballots, voting in person, both early and on Election Day.

"Voting matters not just to yourself but your neighbors, and creates change in your community," Sun said. 

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