2016 US Presidential Election: Go Vote

Daniel P. Simon

Daniel P. Simon


That these elections are monumentally important is on one hand an exercise in stating the obvious. All presidential contests are.

On the other hand, the full scope of the 2016 electoral cycle can’t be stated enough.

On Tuesday, millions of Americans will take to the polls, encouraged by an always-on media environment that has been covering the 2016 presidential election without pause for more than 18 months.

It is understandable why media’s coverage of the 2016 electoral environment focuses on the presidency: It is the most newsworthy vacancy being filled. But the structure of government close to home, far removed from Washington, has direct ramifications on the lives of most every American.

Mayoral elections are taking place in many American cities, such as Milwaukee, Baltimore, Portland, Richmond, San Diego, and Sacramento. These elections are important.

Six international Fortune 500 companies are based in Milwaukee, as well as several large manufacturing companies. Baltimore has a rapidly growing technology sector. Portland, Richmond, San Diego, Sacramento, and nearly every other city that has a mayoral election on Tuesday’s ballot all have unique needs that are shaping their respective races.

These elections are important, so go vote.

In 10 states, Tuesday’s election will determine the next attorney general. These elections are important.

State attorneys general have the power to file lawsuits across state lines, and recent matters have substantially altered policies and regulations, particularly in the pharmaceutical, energy, and healthcare sectors.

These elections are important, so go vote.

Forty-four states have legislative elections on Tuesday, and district-level races often change the composition of state governments and therefore affect how local populations are governed. These elections are important.

Twenty states — Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia — have legislatures that feature split-party control.

These elections are important, so go vote.

Twelve states and two United States territories will vote on their next governor on Tuesday. These elections are important.

The next governor of Delaware, which will be determined Tuesday, will lead a state in which the majority of American corporations are incorporated. The next governor of North Dakota, also to be determined on Tuesday, will govern the state with the country’s fastest-growing economy, and the one in which the politically controversial Dakota Access Pipeline originates.

The next governor of West Virginia, also to be determined on Tuesday, may face some tough decisions regarding fiscal policy, as the state is comparatively dependent on the federal government for funds.

These elections are important, so go vote.

Greater participation will ultimately lead to more prosperity, regardless of who ends up with the power, because more voices will be heard. Despite having a strong opinion on the matter, a strong majority of Millennials sat out the UK’s referendum to leave the European Union this past June. This decision affects Britons on a very personal level because Brexit’s many consequences span from the economic (e.g., trade, jobs, commerce) to the social (e.g., immigration and travel).

Brexit, then, is a case study in the negative consequences of nonparticipation. But state and regional elections affect Americans on a very personal level because their consequences span from the economic (e.g., building permits, property taxes) to the social (e.g., the management of police departments).

The headlines aren’t as exciting. But the effects are still significant.

To voters: This isn’t a call to change your way of thinking. This isn’t a call to subscribe to a particular set of beliefs, endorse a particular policy agenda, or accept a particular social or economic premise.

This isn’t a call to knock on doors or to spend tonight at a phone bank. This isn’t a call to part with your money or defy your common sense.

This isn’t a call to vote for one candidate over the others.

This is a call to go vote.