Incase you haven’t had access to a phone, computer, or TV for the last year, you’re aware there is a pretty important election coming up in November! We would like to be very clear we are in no way endorsing any candidate, but we ARE encouraging all bloom girls, regardless of their political views, to exercise their voices and participate wholeheartedly in this upcoming election! Today is the last day to register to vote if you have not done so already! The process is super easy, and you can register in a matter of minutes here.
Women have only been allowed to vote for 96 years. That means this will be only the 25th US election that women will have been allowed to participate in! That is crazy to us, and we truly hope you all exercise this right so many before us did not have and make your voice heard this November! We’ve put together a quick summary of why your vote does count, what powers the president truly does have, how to find your polling place and hours, and how to make sure you can take time off work or school to cast your ballot. Here we go!
Does My Vote Really Matter?
Of course it does! Unfortunately many Americans do not exercise their right to vote, a luxury citizens of many other countries are not fortunate enough to take for granted. In 2012, only 129.1 million out of 241 million participated in the presidential election. That’s just 53.6% of all of-age eligible voters! If only 20% of them chose not to vote because they thought their vote “didn’t count,” that would be 22.4 million votes! In 1960, John F. Kennedy won by just .1 percent, which came out to only ~100,000 votes! Don’t get caught up in the negative self talk that you and your opinions do not matter. Every vote does truly count.
What Power Does A President Really Have?
It’s easy to think, “Does the President really matter?” We have checks and balances, right? While we do have safe guards in place to prevent a President having too much power, the President absolutely does matter and sets into motion many things that WILL effect your every day life. Here is a brief summary of some of their most important responsibilities:
- They are "Commander in Chief" of the military, including the Army, Navy, and National Guard, and they can direct them as they see fit. Congress can de-fund their projects, but Congress is unlikely to leave our soldiers and sailors stranded halfway around the world once they are deployed! They are also in charge of the nuclear codes.
- They handle all foreign affairs, including negotiating treaties and trade deals that effect our economy.
- They appoint powerful positions like the cabinet secretaries, directors of agencies like the CIA, NSA and FBI, the chairman of the Federal Reserve bank (the most powerful economic position in the country), and judges to the various courts and justices to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court holds the power to decide and interpret all laws within the USA, so that is a pretty big deal!
- They are the head of state and the head of government. In many countries these positions are split into their two parts, but in the USA they are joined, giving our President a significantly higher level of authority than that seen in other world leaders.
- They have the ability to veto any bill that the Congress sends to them. Unless they have 2/3 votes within both houses (which rarely happens!), a bill is effectively dead if they don’t like it!
- They receive the largest array of intelligence available to any leader on Earth. They are the head of 16 major spy agencies, who send their intelligence to them on a daily basis.
- They are the "court of last appeal" for crimes against the USA. They can even override (so to speak) a conviction upheld by the US Supreme Court and pardon, commute or reduce a sentence of someone who has been duly convicted.
Who Shares More of My Beliefs?
We get it, there is A LOT of information out there, and much of it is biased, skewed and misleading, from all directions. It can be confusing, overwhelming, and make you want to throw your hands up in the air and mentally “check out” of the conversation.
This is the best unbiased quiz we’ve found that matches you with the candidate that best reflects your views, based solely on their proposed policies. Take the quiz here!
Am I Already Registered? Where Can I Vote?
Check to see if you are properly registered and where you can cast you ballot here.
Am I Allowed To Take Time Off To Vote?
Most polling offices are open from about 7am-8pm, so even if you work full time, you should be able to vote before or after your shift! Find your polling place hours of operations here!
While most employers are happy to let you take off a few hours to vote, if you’re worried about it, you can see if your employer legally is required to do so here.
Regardless of your gender, age, beliefs, or party affiliation, we sincerely hope you all register and choose to make your voices heard this November!
Michelle & Kaylyn