Your vote matters

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“My vote won’t make a difference.”

Tell that to Julia Mejia, who won a seat on the Boston City Council by a single vote.

It’s been four years since the last presidential election and now, two months into the new year, primary elections have begun to flood the news. It’s almost impossible to check Twitter or Facebook without reading something new about a particular candidate or state.

A college as diverse as Suffolk University is destined to be a massive melting pot for political views and stances. Being surrounded by other people your age plays a large factor in the way in which a young person’s mind will sway. For many students who have only recently turned 18 years old, 2020 is the first year they are eligible to vote

This is why it is important for us as individuals to be able to formulate and express our own opinions.

College is such an interesting time in our lives as we adjust to an increase of responsibilities that come in adult life and survive as an independent person, while simultaneously being forced to meet all new people in the process. It can be hard for someone to develop concrete views on certain issues while attempting to retain all the new people in their life. It’s very tempting to simply agree with people for the sake of trying to fit in.

Despite how easy it seems, we at The Suffolk Journal urge you to not be overwhelmed by the viewpoints of others while formulating your own. It is important to listen, consider and respect opposing opinions. However, everybody thinks and lives differently, therefore the only person who can properly construct your beliefs is yourself.

Are you a Trump supporter? That’s fine. But just because you support him as the president does not mean that it’s unacceptable for you to disagree with him on certain issues. Maybe you are really pushing for Bernie Sanders to make it out of the primary and become the 46th president. Be that as it may, you are not forbidden from disagreeing with his stance on a particular policy.

In other words, don’t let yourself become brainwashed. Read everything and anything you can. Listen to every part of an argument. Being selective with what and who you listen to only leads to biased and uneducated opinions.

Overall, the most important word of advice we’d like to pass on to you is that every vote matters. A vote uncast is a vote against the principles of democracy.

In a blue state such as Massachusetts, it may seem as though voting will not make much of a difference outside of the primary considering the state’s history of being predominantly left-sided. This is simply not the case. 

Think of Julia Mejia. Although a seat on the Boston City Council is not as significant as being elected President of the United States, the principle remains the same. In a city with a population close to 700,000, all it took was one vote to earn her a seat on the council. For her opponent, all it took was one vote to deny someone a seat on the council. 

Register to vote if you have yet to do so. If you are a student and are not officially a resident of   Massachusetts, register to vote by absentee. Absorb as much knowledge as you can. After all, the future of your community lies in your hands. Your vote matters.

~The Suffolk Journal Staff