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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Nshangalume: Yes, Voting Still Matters

Although there has been a rise of frustration and anger towards the state of democracy, country and state, opting to check out of the processes completely will do more bad than good.
A+voter+drops+off+their+ballot+at+Cottonwood+Heights+City+Hall+on+October+31st%2C+2020.+%28Photo+by+Gwen+Christopherson+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29
A voter drops off their ballot at Cottonwood Heights City Hall on October 31st, 2020. (Photo by Gwen Christopherson | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

Pick me, choose me, love me” is unfortunately what politics have begun to sound like. As the 2024 Utah primaries gear up, candidates claim they will save the state and country from a tragic fate. 

Breaking out of this cycle of empty promises used to seem feasible with just the right president, senators and representatives. But fast forward to the present time, and this hope that once swept the country is gone.

Although there has been a rise of frustration and anger towards the state of democracy, country and state, opting to check out of the processes completely will do more bad than good. Voting and participating in democracy are still essential to creating a better future.

Never-ending Cycle

One of the most challenging parts of ending a cycle is falling into a frustration trap. Such a realization can trigger emotions ranging from fear to sadness to anger. Nonetheless, these fears cannot be what holds us back from progress.

Politicians for years have promised that if elected they would solve problems such as corruption and an inadequate government. They have claimed that trusting them will ensure that we will get a better relationship with our government. However, time after time, we see little change and the cycle continues.

Disrupting these behaviors will not be easy but is necessary to end the cycle. To do so, voting cannot be viewed as the end-all-be-all to best mitigate the inadequate governance. Though it still is transformative and effective, it cannot be used as a stand-alone to reimagine our government.

Some ways to ensure that voting does amplify our voices and desires is to challenge the current two-party system and understand the deceitful methods used to disenfranchise voters. We must support alternative candidates who best align with our values and needs.

Two Party System

Widespread support for alternative candidates will help bring about less corruption between parties. The more competition a party has, the less likely corruption is to flourish. Further, competition amongst parties will allow for less polarization between voters. Rather than focusing on party affiliation, voters should focus on policy and actions. We must remember politicians are public servants, not royalty or celebrities.

This is why it is critical to research who we want to vote for and whether they truly align with our needs and values. Getting manipulated into these faulty tactics is what creates a distorted perception of politics and voting.

Unfortunately, even if we take all these steps, corruption will not just disappear. Disenfranchisement is a notorious part of our voting process. From the Electoral College to discriminatory state voter laws, it seems as if democracy was never really meant to flourish.

It Is Possible

One of the most difficult parts of voting is trusting that whoever is elected will fulfill their promises. With all that is stacked up against voters, ballots just do not seem worthwhile. 

It is important to not let these sentiments pull us away from action. Before and after casting those ballots will determine how the terms play out. It is crucial to create communities that hold politicians accountable. To do so, we must not be afraid to move away from our parties and be okay with discarding them. 

Your Vote Has Power 

One of the things that has changed the perception of democracy has been exposure to some of the unfortunate actions our country has made.

It seems as if no matter who we vote for or support, nothing is being done to fix the problems terrorizing our communities and country. Day after day voting is beginning to feel like a way to convince us that it is our fault for choosing poorly.

To truly experience the power of voting, we must utilize all modes of “voting.” This includes financially supporting campaigns and organizations, canvassing, participating in all elections — elections happen every year — attending town hall and school board meetings and supporting journalism and media that aim to expose corruption and promote accountability.

We must remember that it will take time and consistency to create change and progress. One election should not ruin everything we’ve worked hard to create.

 

[email protected] 

@iragilume

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About the Contributor
Iragi Nshangalume
Iragi Nshangalume, Opinion Writer
(she/her) Iragi Nshangalume is an Opinion Writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle. Iragi grew up around the Salt Lake valley, but spent most spent of her childhood in West Valley and Magna. She’s currently pursing her degree in Economics and Political Science. Outside of school and work, Iragi enjoys talking, music and the arts!

Comments (1)

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    AnonymousJul 11, 2024 at 11:28 am

    No, it doesn’t. We live in a single party block representation state, even if 49% of people in the state vote for someone, all of the electoral college votes go to the 51%. Good luck convincing the overwhelming conservative majority to vote otherwise.

    Reply