By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, almost every adult U.S. citizen — including those living abroad — have both the right and the responsibility to vote in the U.S. 2020 presidential elections.
And while it may seem cumbersome to fill out the form (it isn’t; it usually only takes a few minutes), getting your ballot in to your respective state can make a difference in the outcome of what may be one of the United States’ most critical elections.
Moreover, this year, absentee voting is easier than ever.
U.S. citizens can receive an absentee ballot by email, fax or internet download, depending on the particular state in which they are eligible to vote.
And while the U.S. Embassy in Mexico has limited many of its consular services due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has established an easy, essentially no-contact way of delivering your absentee ballot and voting materials through an in-person drop-off during regular embassy operating hours (normally between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.).
The number of mail-in and absentee ballots in the November 2020 presidential election is expected to be unprecedented, which means that they could make a significant difference in the outcome.
In fact, according to U.S. government estimates, about 83 percent of U.S. voters (some 180 million people) are currently eligible to cast mail-in or absentee votes this fall.
Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia already allowed anyone to vote absentee, and California will soon start proactively mailing ballots to registered voters, following in the footsteps of several other universal vote-by-mail states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
So why vote?
To begin with it, it is your civic duty as a U.S. citizen.
Your participation in the voting process is not just one of the fundamental freedoms for which millions of U.S. military personnel and others laid down their lives to defend.
It is a cherished privilege that not all people around the globe have access to.
And while it may sometimes seem that a single vote will not make much difference in such a massive election, in the United States, every vote counts and every voter’s ballot is consequential.
This year’s U.S. election is expected to be one of the closest in recent history, and even a single ballot can turn the tide for your party or candidate.
In the 2008 election, the congressional race in Alaska was decided by just one vote out of 10,035 cast.
Furthermore, voting is a way to get your voice heard and your political concerns prioritized by the government.
How you vote, and the outcome of the elections, can influence your life for years to come in countless ways, from how much you pay in taxes to how the global environment is protected.
Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that members of the Senate and House of Representatives are to be elected directly by popular vote, and the president is to be elected by the Electoral College of state representatives (usually based each state’s population).
That particular system may not sit well with everyone, but it is how national elections are decided in the United States.
Voting is your right, your duty, your privilege and one of the most powerful tools your possess to impact the world you live in and help to make it a better place for everyone.
Your vote is your means of shaping policies and the future direction of your town, state and country.
Regardless of which party or candidate you support, Pulse News Mexico encourages all eligible U.S. citizens to cast their vote in the November presidential elections.
…Sept. 10, 2020