Photo by USA.gov
The 2020 United States Presidential election is on November 3! All over the media, there is a continuous buzz over this election. But why is it such a big deal and what exactly does it mean for our country, our communities, and our personal lives? We encourage you to read this article to learn more about the election and do further research on your own if you are still uncertain about any of the topics regarding the 2020 US presidential election. We recommend checking out the official US election website.
So what exactly is a presidential election and what does my vote do? The U.S presidential election is where “citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the fifty U.S. states or in Washington, D.C., cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the Electoral College.” This means that citizens are not directly voting for the president, but a group of people who are appointed by each state to then elect the president and vice president. This process is called the Electoral College. There are 538 electors in total, each representing a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate, plus 3 electors from the District of Columbia. The population of each state influences the number of electoral votes they get. The candidate with a higher percentage of votes in a specific state gets all of the electoral votes for that state(this all-or-nothing process does not apply to two of the fifty states), and the other candidate gets 0 electoral votes from that state, even if it was a close call. Sometimes, a candidate can win the popular vote, but not gain at least 270 electoral votes. The candidate that gains at least 270 electoral votes wins the presidency.
Now we know how votes are counted, but how do we choose who to vote for? This year, our two candidates are Donald Trump and Joe Biden. “The US political system is dominated by just two parties,” the Republicans, the conservative political party, and the Democrats, the liberal political party. The basic difference between the two parties is that Republicans believe in a “smaller”, weaker federal government where the federal government plays less of a role in our lives, while Democrats believe in a stronger, “bigger” federal government that plays a bigger role in the lives of its people. We highly recommend you do more research on what these two parties, and more specifically these two candidates, stand for if you do not already have a solid understanding.
Where can I vote? First, make sure that you are registered to vote. Visit this link to register to vote if you haven’t already. Due to COVID-19, there may not be as many polling places near you and they won’t be the same as they have been in the previous years(for safety precautions). As a result, many people are voting by mail-in absentee ballots. Note that in California, all citizens registered to vote will be mailed a ballot(no later than 29 days prior to November 3). Click this link to learn more about how you can vote this year.
Why should I vote? Voting is one of the most important rights granted to U.S citizens because it allows them to play a role in the type of leaders, representatives, and government they want to see in their country. Voting allows you to choose leaders who stand for things that are important to you and make the changes you want to see in your personal life, community, and country. Every single vote counts! In 2000, “Bush won Florida by 0.009 percent of the votes cast in the state, or 537 votes.” This example shows how close elections can get and how just a couple of votes can change the president that serves for the next four years and the course of history.
At Bridging Tech, educational equity is one of our core values. We strongly believe that every child should have access to a quality education that allows them to achieve their academic dreams. In order to fight the educational inequities prevalent in our society, we have to make changes to the education system at a nationwide level. This means that by evaluating our candidates’ values, policies, plans, and what they stand for, we can put our votes towards making the changes we want to see in our country.
The more people that vote, the more change that is created. #VotingMatters
Visit https://www.usa.gov/voting for all the information on the presidential election.