COVID alters how to vote, not right to vote

On Wed. Sept. 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg lost her battle with cancer at age 87. Her life was nothing short of extraordinary. Without her influence on the Supreme Court women all over America still be fighting for equality in government and everyday settings.

This tragedy reminds us that it is vital, now more than ever, to be mindful of voting. A vote for one government official can have a chain reaction in nominations and other positions being filled. 

If a student wishes to register to vote, they should note that Illinois offers online voter registration.

Anyone who voted in Illinois in the 2018 General Election, the 2019 municipal election, or the March 17 primary election should have received an absentee ballot application.

Anyone who did not can register to vote by printing and filling out a voter registration form then mailing it to their local election authority.

People are being given the option to vote in person, but they will have to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions by wearing a mask upon entrance and maintaining a distance of six feet apart from other people. Polling booths will be positioned six feet apart.

If voters show up without a mask, election authorities are required to provide them with one.

While these necessary guidelines may be inconvenient, the value in voting should not be diminished. Voting is a civic duty, yes, but it is also more than that.

If everyone had the mindset that their vote would not make a difference, no one would vote and the outcome of elections would be drastically different.

Voting allows for opportunity — the opportunity to change the course of the country’s future, to use our voices, and to make the most of our tax dollars.

However, it should be noted that there are other ways to make your voice heard besides voting. The most important thing is to be informed.

Read and watch unbiased news sites for information and watch out for news silos, sources that only reinforce one’s own beliefs or produce content reflecting only one view.

While many people knock the concept of debating politics, talking to others and gaining perspective is healthy for the mind. Social media is another way to see what other people are saying and thinking, though not everything online can be trusted.

Bottom line, your vote matters. So get out there and start making a difference in the world, despite how small it may seem!