In our country, Election Day is a day set every four years by law, where US citizens can vote for candidates of public officials at national degrees. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. With elections approaching, voting has become a popular topic within social media. Why is it important to vote? According to Generation Progress, an organization to advocate for social issues, “Young people have incredible power in this election. They will make up more than one-third of eligible voters; they are passionate about improving their country and world for themselves and their children and are ready to take a stand for what they believe in.”
In honor of Election Day approaching, the Mustang Newspaper interviewed Essmeralda Corn to have a student’s insights as to why voting is crucial in today’s society. Corn is a student here at WNMU. She is majoring in Kinesiology with a Minor in Psychology.
Q: Why is voting important? Who should be able to vote?
A: Voting is the cornerstone of any democratic system. It is exceptionally essential to anyone living in the US for several reasons. As people, we often undermine our power; therefore, we think that our vote might not “count,” or it might not “matter” – but that is far from the truth. Every vote counts, and it is our job to find someone who can represent us without embarrassment and someone who solves national issues. Voting allows for voices to be heard, and it invokes change. To add to that, I believe anyone living in the US should have the ability to vote. Of course, that is if they are of age. But I’m referencing more towards individuals who’ve been incarcerated, as well as other minorities. If they live here, pay taxes, work, and are – essentially – a US citizen, they should be given the right to vote.
Q: What issues are the most important to you?
A: There are a lot of issues that are extremely important to me. As an economical, environmental, and social justice advocate, I need to mention these three core factors that influence everyone’s lives. Voting is not just about choosing someone who can best represent our country, but someone who can touch upon these topics, understanding them, and accept that they desperately need restoration. We can no longer afford to oversee or turn a blind eye to the things that affect us all the most. I also believe there should be free healthcare for ALL, college tuition should be lowered, women’s reproductive and health rights should be left for their responsibility, and both LGBTQ+ lives. Other minorities (black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)) in this country should be more protected. Protecting those who are heavily targeted and discriminated against is extremely important. Which leads me to mention, I also believe the corrupt systems — that have originated in this country due to racism — need reform, defunding, or overall abolishment.
Q: What is your opinion on how successful women were in getting the vote?
A: Sadly, women have almost always had to struggle for bare-minimum rights. Nevertheless, I believe that it has been very empowering to know that women have fought countless times throughout the years to promote human welfare, equal rights, and voting rights. I am very proud of those who have dedicated their lives to making a change and for those who promote/advocate for justice. I believe they deserve all the successes that come their way, if not more.
Q: If they asked you, what advice would you have for our leaders?
A: If they asked me, my future leaders’ advice would be to care and be passionate. Care about those around you, those whose lives you are responsible for, and prioritize present decisions that will influence our future and be passionate about making changes and as we advance with them. This country needs a lot of restoration, and it can no longer afford to wait for someone to “try”; they need to “do.” As for my advice to our current “leader,” you should quit.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the WNMU community?
A: I used to think that my vote would not distinguish itself from others and that ultimately, my voice did not matter. I’m now 21 years old, and this is my first time voting. The best advice I can give is to vote for others around you if you cannot find any motivation to vote for yourself. Find someone or something you are passionate about and focus on the one leader who is touched upon it. Vote for the environment, vote for the economy, vote for social justice, vote for the LGBTQ+ community, vote for healthcare, vote for the BIPOC minority, vote for your future. It takes less than 15 minutes out of your day, if not less, to simply register. After you register, you are set! Both your voice and your vote matter way more than you think.
For more information on voting in New Mexico, visit https://www.vote.org/state/new-mexico/.