Preparing to vote in an unhealthy world

Blog Post |
Credit: Morry Gash/AP Photo

The Wisconsin State Primaries were last week. All over social media were pictures of hundreds of people waiting in line, six feet apart from the next person, in masks, waiting to fill out a ballot. Citizens in Wisconsin had to choose to either vote and risk exposing your loved ones to the virus, or keep your family safe and don’t fulfill your civic duty. We are taught that voting is a privilege, and we should be excited to cast our votes every year. Recently we have seen how our voting infrastructure needs to be changed even before the COVID 19 pandemic. In the California Primary on Super Tuesday, UCLA had voting lines that went on for hours. In most states, you can’t register to vote the day of the election. People are being turned away across the country because their signature doesn’t match what’s on file. For a nation that presents itself as the birthplace of democracy, it’s getting harder and harder to make sure everyone who can vote, is able to. 

Now that Bernie Sanders has dropped out, many people won’t see the need to vote in the upcoming primary elections. Not only is this a primary for the Presidential election, but a primary for all races for the next election in November. The top of the tickets will have party front runner, Joe Biden or Donald Trump, under them will be a list of ballot measures, US House of Rep State Senators, State Senators, State Attorney General, and more depending on your state. These smaller and less televised races are still incredibly important. They have a more substantial opportunity to make changes in your community more than the President would. 

My biggest fear is that people won’t vote in the primaries. Many people want everything to stay the same, it has been and would prefer if voting was hard for young people and people of color. In the coming weeks before the next round of state primaries, we need to make sure everyone understands the importance of voting and knows how to do it safely. It is essential to advocate for primaries to be pushed out into the summer months and have mail-in ballots be easily accessible. Make sure to talk with your friends and loved ones about voting. Share the valuable information you see on your social media to keep everyone informed with the latest news. I hope that after this election, our entire voting process is revamped to make sure everyone who can vote is able to; no matter their race, age, or if they are able to leave their house.