Think It Makes No Difference? Check This Out.
By Sue Kilgore
For the GPHN
There’s a lot of anxiety about voting this year, and Election Day, Nov. 3, feels daunting! In fact, our votes are our most powerful tools. It is ordinary people who will win this election by getting registered and returning their ballots promptly.
It’s easy to feel like a single vote, among millions, makes no difference. But especially recently, races have been won or lost by extremely thin margins. In 2000, the entire presidential election came down to Florida, where George Bush won by only 537 votes! Four years ago, Hillary Clinton captured nearly three million more votes nationwide than Donald Trump. But his Electoral College victories in three key states – with only about 70,000 votes – gave him the presidency. In both of those elections, if just a few more people voted, the outcomes, and our life in America, might have been very different.
It’s also important to vote all the way down the ballot. State House and Senate, state and local school board, city council, and other contests determine who will make decisions closer to our homes. Often, these are decided by small numbers of voters. But the people who are chosen have significant effects on our day-to-day lives. And don’t forget that this year, the election outcome will affect redistricting.
Many people are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions at the U.S. Postal Service could make voting more difficult, or that their ballots may not be returned in time to be counted. In Colorado, we’re fortunate. By registering promptly, and by mailing your ballot, or even better, delivering it to a voting center or drop box as soon as possible, you can be confident that your vote will be counted.
If you haven’t registered to vote, there’s still time. If you are already registered, make sure your address is updated. Ballots are being mailed in Colorado beginning Oct. 9, however you can still register all the way until 7 p.m. on Election Day at a voter service or polling center. In order to receive a mail ballot, however, you must register no later than Oct. 26. Everything you need to know about registering – including how you can stay safe during the pandemic – can be found at www.GoVoteColorado.gov. Or you can call 720-913-8683 (Denver Elections Division) or 303-894-2200 (Secretary of State) for more information.