You’re probably sick of hearing it, but dude: Go out and vote today, because this election, more than almost any other since you’ve been alive, affects you directly.
How? For one, whomever’s our president for the next four years will appoint two Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Court justices, should an abortion case come to them, may, depending on who they are and what their policies are like, overturn Roe v. Wade. That can make or break your right to choose what goes on in your own body. And we’re not here to tell you what you should do should you find yourself pregnant–but we do want you to know and have every single possible option and choice available to you.
Second, health care is a biggie this year. Health insurance is expensive for most people without the aid of the Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to nowadays as “Obamacare“), and specific coverage for birth control has been hotly debated in both parties. This, again, is something that affects you directly, because your access to contraception (even for medical reasons, like hormonal imbalances, PCOS, or horrible cramps) may be drastically altered depending on who gets elected.
The economy, obvs, is one of, if not the, biggest issue facing voters this year. While a lot of the talk about taxes may go over your head (and sometimes ours, too!), it’s also important to remember that if you’re close to graduating high school or college, economic issues will affect you. How? If you need to apply for grants, student loans, or are looking for a job, voting for who you think can take us further out of the recession is a big deal. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which grants women equal pay for doing the same jobs as men, is also a big ballot issue this year–and it should be (for the record, Obama supports it, Romney doesn’t). (Frankly, it should have been about 150 years ago, too.)
So please, please, please–get out there and vote. You can check your polling places here–some may have changed in light of Hurricane Sandy, but you can still get out there and do it! And you need to. Even if the lines are long. As long as your life is affected by this and any election, your voice needs to be heard–because your voice, your life, and your opinions matter. And if you make your voice heard, your vote will matter even more next time around–because candidates will know that they need to work for it. It’s the single most empowering thing you can do–and depending on how you vote, it may preserve that empowerment for you and the girls that come after you. And that, like you, is awesome.
Are you voting today? Are you registered to vote? Which candidate are you supporting in the presidential election? What issues are most important to you? Tell us in the comments!