“Our votes don’t count,” “It’s pointless even to try,” or my favorite, “All politicians are corrupt, so I don’t want to pick between the lesser of two evils… I rather not choose”. We’ve all probably heard these phrases before, in one way or another. They’re familiar anti-voting rhetoric, thrown around without consideration of the real power of a vote. To not choose, or rather not participate at all, to me personally is detrimental. I think of politics like a drive home from work, where the GPS gives us two options. It says you can go this way, or you can go that way. Are you going to be the person who communicates, "well, what's the point of driving if there's traffic both ways"? One or two things will then happen, you're not going to go anywhere, or someone else will choose the route for you. Someone that may or may not have your best interest in mind. I say when you hold agency, use it.
As an immigrant, black women (triple threat), it’s hard for me to take my civic duties lightly. I think back to the times in which women who resemble me weren’t even given the right to vote. And the lives sacrificed for the opportunity. It’s equally monumental being a naturalized citizen of the United States, having hailed from Burkina Faso, a country with a not so just and honest government. Before fleeing office, the president attempted to amend the constitution to extend his 27-year term. So it’s safe to say that though not perfect, I’m appreciative of the U.S.’s democratic process.
On the heels of a historic presidential election and potential balance shifting Senate runoff, to have been part of voting recruitment efforts at Georgia State feels surreal. I’m honored to help in any way and hope that my fellow Georgia State students have established a voting day checklist of their own. It’s as simple as finding your nearby early voting location or ballot dropbox and schedule a time to drive, walk, bus, whatever it takes to get there. We have till December 31st to do so. Or you can wait till January 5th and head over to your assigned polling location. Whichever is convenient for you. I will implore if you’re filling out an absentee ballot or voting in person, be sure to research the candidates on the ballot and know what they stand for. Seek out nonpartisan websites, and form your own unwavering opinion and stick to it.
About the Greatest MINDS Blog Columnist:
Tryphose Asra (Class of 2020) has received a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Entrepreneurship with a concentration in Global Issues from Georgia State University. She enjoys studying public policy and would love to contribute to future policy reformation and programming geared towards education reform. By combining her passion for working with young people, whether through mentoring or teaching, she looks forward to sharing her knowledge and helping each student based on their individual needs. Her personal hobbies include volunteering, reading, hiking, rewatching The Office, thrifting, baking, and learning how to draw.