Vote or stay quiet

Kadra Sommersted-Simmons, Editor-in-Chief

Well it’s 2020, which means a new presidential election year. Folks who voted in the last election, as well as new voters – people that were 18 after the 2016 election and before Nov. 3 – get to use their voices.

Make sure you get registered to vote by Nov. 3 so you have a say in who runs the country. If you don’t vote, you have no reason to complain about the president in office.

I got to vote for the first time in 2016 when it could have been either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It was exciting and liberating to have a voice in something so big. While I was disappointed in the outcome, I had done research and watched the candidates closely to come to a decision.

Before you go in and vote, make sure you have formulated your OWN opinions on the candidates. Don’t vote for who your parents say to vote for, and don’t pay attention to memes for your decision making. Your parents may be older and have formed their own ideas, but that does not mean their opinion is right for you. Memes are generally propaganda made to make someone look good and make their opponent look bad.

There are different ways you can vote. If you want to vote through your hometown, you should be able to get an absentee voting ballot that you send in through the mail. According to USA gov’s ( article “Absentee and Early Voting,” you are allowed to vote at an earlier date than in person. They also said you don’t have to have an excuse for early voting!

You have to request early or absentee voting through your state. They may require proof of identity and in some cases…maybe a valid excuse. On, you can view a chart that shows how early you can vote by state!

How do you register? Well…if you are a resident of Nebraska, you can register online, by mail or in person. Your in-person options are ( county election office, Department of Health and Human Services and the State Department of Education, the DMV when you are updating your license, or the county clerk/election commissioner’s office.

You can register as a Republican, Democrat or Libertarian. You don’t have to affiliate if you don’t want to, and you can check non-partisan when registering. If you do this you will only get non-partisan ballots in primary elections. For more you can visit

Keep in mind your values if you choose a party. Even if you choose one you don’t have to vote within that party if you agree with another party’s candidate.

In my opinion, this year is a very important year to vote.

Our current candidates are three to 11. According to New York Times our current candidates are:

Republican: Donald Trump, Joe Walsh and William Weld

Democratic: Michael Bennet, Joseph Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Young

Even if you have a favorite now, you never know what’s going to happen. A lot can happen between now and Nov. 3. We also don’t know how the impeachment will effect either party. It could make one party more favorable than another, as well as candidates. You’ll have to watch the candidates not the memes to help you keep up to date. I know there are people who have stopped reading, wondering “why does it matter,” asking “why do I care,” or maybe wondering what they can do.

Well for the readers that stopped, I hope you vote in November. For the ones that are wondering why it should matter to them or why they should care – you have a voice. You’re able to make a difference. I don’t care which party you choose; I care if you vote because the more the better. You never know what the outcome may be.

According to ACCT Now (, the more people who vote the better representation we have of citizens. AACT Now’s 10 reasons to vote:

It’s your right

Voting allocates federal money to this region

If you don’t someone else will (if you don’t, you can’t complain)

You get to decide how your taxes are spent

It can affect your job

It can improve children’s education

Healthcare is affected

Social Security is affected

You can improve the safety of your neighborhood

You can improve roads/streets/highways

You can make a change.
For those wanting to know what they can do – your vote matters. If you can remember back to your high school American government class, or even your college one, you already know what your vote does. It directs the Electoral College electors to vote for candidates. Depending on where you live, you might have representatives that are a different party. It’s still worth the vote. You may be that one vote that tips the scale just enough for them to vote for your person.

In Nebraska, they are able to split their five votes or just give one person all of them. They last split when Obama (1 vote) and McCain (4 votes) were running against each other.

You could be part of re-electing Trump (if he is still able to by then depending on the impeachment – or if he drops out). You could be part of a woman being in office for the first time. You would have a legitimate reason to complain about the next president.

Please register to vote. Please vote. You matter. Your vote matters.