Don’t just vote (or don’t vote) for yourself, vote for us all.

According to a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute and the Atlantic conducted in June only 28% of voters ages 18-29 are motivated to vote in next month’s midterms. Meanwhile, the Senate – who’s majority represents only 18% of the population — just confirmed a man accused of sexual assault, who doesn’t agree with universal health care, women’s rights, says handguns and semi-automatic rifles are weapons used for hunting and self-defense, and who refused to answer whether a sitting President can pardon himself or not.

By not voting, you are saying you are okay with the status quo. You are saying you are okay with a bunch of middle-aged conservative white guys clinging to their last bouts of power. You are saying that status quo works for you and to hell with those it does not work for.

BUT MY VOTE DOESN’T MATTER!

How many times do we have to dispel this?

Your vote does matter. Even in the bluest and reddest of states, your vote matters. Instead of saying your vote doesn’t matter be honest and say either you don’t want to vote or that you only care about yourself and therefore not those who are most impacted by our elected officials.

Think about all that is tied to the person you elect to represent you from your healthcare costs to who you are allowed to marry to your transportation to and from work, and also whether or not you will have a job to go to or a home to come back to. There is also education, infrastructure, taxes or the ability to say what you want to say and believe in what you want to believe in. It can even be as micro as ensuring your kids are safe in their own backyard.

Your vote matters. Without the right people leading our country and representing us all, you might not be able to read this post on this website because guess what the government brought you this Internet and although the majority of the federal government wants to regulate the Internet, we the people, have been pushing back.

ALL VOTES MATTER!

All votes matter. Let’s look at the year following the last presidential election. The Trump administration spent most of their first year trying to convince people that they won the popular vote. They didn’t. The fact that they didn’t clearly got under the thin skin of President Donald Trump. Those extra 2.9 million votes mattered.

Additionally, the 2016 election came down to only 77,744 Votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. That breakdown: 44,292 votes in Pennsylvania, 22,748 in Wisconsin, and 10,704 votes in Michigan. Many people in those states decided to sit out the 2016 election because they felt their votes didn’t matter. Or they were lazy. Or they didn’t care.

Now that’s just a presidential election. Your votes matter even more the closer to home you get. Voting in our town, city or state elections has a direct impact on all that you do. Don’t like your commute in the morning? Vote. Think your taxes are too high? Vote. Want better access to affordable healthcare and education? Vote. Want the pot hole outside your home to be filled? Vote.

IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE. EXERCISE IT.

In the first election in which all citizens of all races were allowed to vote to South Africa, millions, nearly 20 million, lined up over a four-day voting period to overwhelming elect Nelson Mandela. Millions waited on line for hours to vote to make history.

Think about that over the next month. Think about the millions of people who don’t have the right to vote. Vote for them. Vote for those who fought to give you the right to vote. Vote for your parents and grandparents. Vote for your friend who feels this country does not represent him. Vote for your friend who wants to decide what she can and cannot do with her body. Vote for your friend who is gay and wants to marry the person he loves. Vote for your colleagues who depend on affordable health care. Vote for the teachers, police officers, military officials in your life. Don’t just vote or don’t vote for yourself, vote for us all.

HOW TO VOTE?

You still have the ability to register to vote in some states. To register, find out if you are eligible, and where you can vote: https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote