During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been hunkering down at my childhood home in the solidly Democratic state of New Jersey. I don’t live in a swing state.
In another universe, I’d be on campus right now in the solidly Republican Hoosier state. Sure there was that time I was in like fifth grade in 2008 when Indiana went blue, but ultimately, I don’t go to school in a swing state either.
So, some classmates and friends wonder why I choose to vote at all. But it’s not as simple as that. Right now, as the United States continues wrestling with racism, the coronavirus and economic fallout, it’s clearer than ever that this election is about more than merely selecting the next president of the United States.
I choose to vote because, while voting can’t change circumstances of our birth, voting can change the quality of elected officials who make decisions to provide or impede our opportunities to advance and better ourselves.
I choose to vote because nobody should be barred from entering the United States on the basis of how they worship or how they look.
I choose to vote because it is important that our leaders say names such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury and Jacob Blake. To have our leaders commit to doing something meaningful in their names. Because it is important that we are quick to condemn white supremacists and quick to affirm that Black lives matter.
I choose to vote because the United States is only about 5% of the world's population, yet houses 25% of the world’s incarcerated people.
I choose to vote because I care about the future of our country, but also, I care about the well-being and future of our planet.
If voting didn’t matter, people wouldn’t lose their lives fighting to cast their ballots.
This is about more than just picking the president. This is about deciding the future we know is better. For these reasons and more, I choose to vote.
Abraham Plaut (he/they) is majoring in sociology. He is taking a gap year and will be an IU senior next year.
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