Viewpoint – Minority votes matter despite misconception

By Michael Foster-Sanders/campus editor

The aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections had social media in a frenzy, especially with young African-American’s posting on various sites saying they chose not to vote this year.

Many people asked them why they chose not to vote and most responded that voting doesn’t matter.

Voting for minorities, especially in the African-American community, has been a touchy subject over the years because many see voting as a waste of time. It hasn’t brought about change in their communities. People aren’t paying attention to the right races or to the candidates who will have a more direct impact on their day-to-day lives. They need to be more educated on local-level politics and It’s a snowball effect all the way to the electoral college which plays a part in who’s going to be the leader of America for four years.

If voting doesn’t matter, then why after the 15th amendment was passed, roadblocks were put in place such as poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses and domestic terrorism to suppress the votes of people of color, primarily within African-American communities.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams said, “Voter suppression isn’t only about blocking the vote, it’s also about creating an atmosphere of fear, making people worry that their votes won’t count.”

Martin Luther King Jr. led marches to protest voter suppression and bring attention to injustices minority communities were facing when it came to exercising their right to vote. His work contributed to the passing of the Voting Rights Act which was signed into law Aug. 5, 1965, by then President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Act has been extended three times and revised to put more protections in place to make sure people can vote without harassment and to keep policy makers from passing laws that suppress their ability to do so.

King wouldn’t have worked as hard as he did if voting didn’t matter, nor would the other countless men and women who have sacrificed so much to ensure everyone had a voice and a chance to use their voice by voting.

Think about that next time you think voting doesn’t matter.