Voting: The New Death Sentence?
It’s no secret that voting is possibly the one right we all have that truly stands out from the rest. The power of our voices mean so much more than netwe ourselves even realize. From marches, petitions, GoFundMe pages, the way we express ourselves helps to tell the story of life. It’s our responsibility to create and share memories which will be passed along to our future leaders so that they may thrive.
This year, 2020, has brought many challenges, and even though these obstacles at times seem too unbearable, we as a whole have been able to come together and work through it. We most certainly are not at the place we want to be, but the continuous hard-work and dedication shines light on what we hope our future to become: safe. We can only hope to achieve this by ensuring the people of The United States of America stand united and don’t allow enemies to intrude.
During the 2016 presidential election, we watched our social media, government, and life overall invaded. According to a 2019 Time article, “The goal, as determined by the U.S. intelligence community and backed up by evidence gathered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller: To damage the Clinton campaign, boost Trump’s chances and sow distrust in American democracy overall.” For many, the Clinton and Trump presidential election was their first time voting. To see another country, one who doesn’t particularly care for ours anyways, impede on our basic human rights was a slap in the face. It screamed: you all are irresponsible and uneducated to make such a decision. One could say these past four years was “payback” from having Barack Obama as our president of The United States of America for eight consecutive years. Nevertheless, many voices were silenced while others gained a little more noise.
In February 2020, the coronavirus was introduced to us. Fears of the unknown are still present today, as multiple sources spread contradicting viewpoints on how to treat and handle this pandemic. As if that weren’t enough, this November the American people will decide who their next presidential leader will be for the next four years: Joe Biden or Donald Trump. With so much hatred, fear, and confusion, this years election holds an extreme amount of weight, a weight that could potentially become even more deadly.
Polls have begun to open for early voting. One state has already started to experience voter intimidation and possible links from the interference of foreign hackers similar to the 2016 presidential election. In Alachua County, Florida, where its residents are primarily Democrats, are facing huge amounts of fear and concern based on their party affiliation and vote altogether. An email circulated on Tuesday which read, “We are in possession of all your information (email, address, telephone… everything). You are currently registered as a Democrat and we know this because we have gained access into the entire voting infrastructure. You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you. Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you,” reported by CBS News. While these emails appeared to come from The Proud Boys, a right-wing group in which President Trump told to “standby” during one of his presidential debates against Biden, IT professionals from CBS News “shows the message originated from IP addresses linked to servers located in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Estonia.” While The Proud Boys group denies any involvement, it still holds true some group’s determination to corrupt the American people and push for a 2020 Trump victory by any means necessary.
Despite the plethora of illegal attempts to intimidate voters into voting a certain way, it is our responsibility to vote for who we think will be the best fit to serve our country. We must stand against hatred and demand our voices to be heard, because after all, our lives and the lives of our future truly depend on it.
To check when your state opens for voting, please visit www.ncsl.org or type in voting 2020 (insert your state name) on Google for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Abrams, Abigail. Here’s What We Know So Far About Russia’s 2016 Meddling. Time, 2019. https://time.com/5565991/russia-influence-2016-election/?amp=true. 21 October 2019.
Quinn, Melissa. Becket, Stefan. Kates, Graham. Emails threatening Florida voters to “vote for Trump or else!” linked to overseas servers. CBS News, 2020. https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/florida-emails-proud-boys-vote-trump-linked-overseas-servers/. 21 October 2019.