My Vote Didn’t Count

There's a revolution on our hands.

The night of the election I took a picture of myself slinging a bottle of champagne. It was kind of a joke, as I was posing with a mostly-full bottle to get the same shot as about 100 other girls in a Facebook thread.

I didn’t even finish half the bottle that night. Tonight, I would if I had one.

It’s not that Trump secured 270 electoral votes, because we knew he would. No one believed there would be a mass electoral defect. As if 30+ electoral voters would swing from Trump to Hillary. Because that’s not how it works, right? The people voted for Trump and so the electors voted the same.

Except for the few who didn’t.

As it would happen in the strange backyard that is becoming the running joke of the country, electors in Washington state defected. While some did vote for Clinton, three voted instead for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, while one voted for Faith Spotted Eagle, a Native American elder and activist from South Dakota.

This made Washington a leader in faithless electors, voting against what we — the people — wanted.

It was the first time in four decades that any of Washington’s Electoral College voters have broken from the state’s popular vote for president.

It was, overall, an unprecedented move.

It was the first time in four decades that any of Washington’s Electoral College voters have broken from the state’s popular vote for president.

We b*tch and moan about wasting our votes, especially here in little blue King county, where it’s inherent that a liberal will always win.

But that didn’t happen. Half of the electoral votes intended to go to Hillary were cast for others, other people not even on the ballot.

The people weren’t even allowed to write in candidates, like Bernie, who were not certified to be written-in.

So these were just throwaway votes. A protest. A rebellion against the system.

I have no issue with the people who they voted for, leaders in their own right.

But those are not the people I voted for. I cast my vote and the person I voted for won the state of Washington’s popular election. There is room in the electoral college for dissension and an elector to vote their moral choice. That’s why 100s of thousands wrote electors asking them to check that choice when casting a vote for Trump.

This  —  right here, the process today  —  is where our country is fucked. It has revealed that the people’s vote is a total joke. Sure, the college could have decided HRC was a better choice.

But no one who has electoral voting power believed that. To prove the point, even those who had a responsibility to vote for her did not.

Our country is run by old white men. If we as people think we have power, don’t kid yourself.

But there’s a revolution on our hands.

I’ll compare it to what an English teacher in high school told me once: popular literature was mostly written by old, white men. We had barely cracked open the internet, and yet she know that what content my generation would be inspired by would not be those books.

Look. Look at your bookmarks and back buttons. That is what inspires you.

I don’t know how we’ll revolutionize a 300-year-old system. But until then, don’t expect to matter when someone else stands in for you  —  not nationally, at least.

This isn’t to say we don’t matter. We matter where we make a difference. This means to make a literal effort to get in with an organization and effect change. My ex joked he would run for office.

I tell him: do it.

Volunteer, build, run, canvass, quit your job for a non profit, quit your job to help get petitions signed at concerts.

Our rights  —  a right to vote, for example  —  are not advice, nor a suggestion as to how to build a better community and nation.

If my vote does not matter, I’ll find a way that I do. I hope you do too.