Skip to main content

Making Every Vote Count

By JoAnne Rock

 As soon as I turned 18, I registered to vote and looked forward to casting my first presidential ballot. Now, several presidential elections later, I find myself a bit disinfranchised with the process.

I can't recall the last time a Presidential candidate made any attempt to solicit my New York vote. Not that I expect them to knock on my door, but some attempt to make me feel that my vote is important to them would be nice. We, New Yorkers, seem to be ignored by one party (if they feel they can't win NY) and taken for granted by the other (if they feel they can't lose NY).

I'm sure that if I lived in a battleground state, such as Ohio or Florida, Presidential candidates would battle for my vote using tv spots, mailings and even public appearances. But NY is not a battleground state. It is now sadly referred to as a "Spectator State" - we get to sit on the sidelines and watch others elect our President. When it comes to electing our highest public official, every state should be a battlestate...there should be no "gimmees"!

I know I am not alone. I hear many people say that they don't even bother to vote in a Presidential election because they feel that their vote doesn't count. Oftentimes, I don't get to the polls until the very end. By that time, the news and various pollsters have already called the results for NY, making my vote, virtually unnecessary and unimportant. Meanwhile, they all wait with anticipation to see what happens in Ohio or Florida, etc. Why should my geography make my vote any less important?

The Constitution gives the states exclusive and complete control over the way they award their electoral votes. The current winner-take-all method of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the statewide winner is not in the Constitution.

A nationwide effort is underway to change the method by which we elect our President to one that reflects the nationwide choice of the people - by popular vote.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee a majority of the Electoral College to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would reform the Electoral College so that the electoral vote in the Electoral College reflects the choice of the nation's voters for President of the United States

The National Popular Vote Bill (A1580B/S2286A) came one step closer to becoming law by overwhelmingly passing in the NY Senate on June 7, 2010 by a vote of 52-7. It will now go on to the Assembly. I am glad that my Assemblyman, Steve Hawley, "wholeheartedly" supports this legislation.

Hopefully, one day, all votes will be created equal.

Check out for more information.

Authentically Local