Illustration by Alaina Dackermann

Reasons to vote

Published November 2, 2023

Reasons to vote

Why you should vote in this year’s election

By Elizabeth Talaga | The Beat

The next election is Nov. 7. In Ohio, there are two main issues on the ballot this fall, Issue 1 and Issue 2. Issue 1 proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Ohio that would give an individual the right to make their own reproductive medical choices, including abortion. Issue 2 would legalize, regulate, commercialize and tax marijuana. All elections are important, but with two big issues on the ballot this November, here’s why you should vote:

It is your right

The U.S. explicitly grants all its citizens the right to vote. However, this was not always the case. There were long-fought battles in the past to allow women and people of color to vote. Now that all U.S. citizens aged 18 and older have the right to vote, why not use it? Voting is a right and a privilege, and U.S. citizens have been granted both.

your vote matters

One of the most common reasons people choose not to vote is because they believe their vote will not change the country or the election outcome. However, every vote counts. If everyone had the same mindset that their vote does not matter, no one would ever vote in elections. Your one vote combines with millions of others to decide on elected officials and issues that affect millions of people. Your vote is your official opinion, so use it. Plus, you get a cool sticker if you do.

Issue 1 and Issue 2

Issue 1 puts the reproductive rights of women in Ohio in the hands of voters. Issue 2 would legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio and essentially treat it like alcohol. Everyone has an opinion on these two issues, whether or not it personally affects them and the subjects have been discussed at length. It is important to use your voice and your right to vote for what you believe in, especially with issues of great importance.

Non-presidential elections matter too

The upcoming election is a non-presidential election. Many people choose to only vote in presidential elections, but non-presidential elections are just as important. As seen with this year’s election, the two issues on the ballot affect Ohioans daily and can change the lives of so many people. Non-presidential elections see lower turnout than presidential elections despite the important issues that frequent the non-presidential ballots.

Voting is easier than ever

With options for absentee and early voting and mail-in-ballots, voting is easier than ever. Voting registration can be done online or by mail, eliminating the need for an extra trip to the local elections office. Although it can still be difficult to vote in certain states, efforts are being made to expand absentee and mail-in ballot options. Once you make it to the polls and through the line of fellow voters, it does not take long to fill out your ballot, especially if you come prepared.

Bonus: Athens city members and Ohio University students can visit Pumpkin the cat

If the importance of this election is not enough to get you to the polls, the Athens County Board of Elections has Southeast Ohio’s favorite cat, Pumpkin, at the elections office. For OU students, the office is just a short walk down Court Street. So go, cast your ballot, use your voice and see the local celebrity in person.

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Talaga

EDITOR: Grace Brezine


ILLUSTRATION: Alaina Dackermann