When I became old enough to vote, I made a conscious decision to register as an independent. As a Christian, I embrace some republican views/values, but as a woman and a minority, I also embrace some democratic views/values. In other words, I have never fit into a box, not even regarding politics. As an independent voter, I cannot vote in primary elections. Of the four presidential elections that I have been eligible to vote in, I’ve only voted in two…I’m sure you know which two, but not for the reason(s) you may think.
The first election I could vote in was the 2004 election. As a first-year college student, I had to submit an absentee ballot. I followed the process to the best of my knowledge, but my ballot never arrived. I needed an absentee ballot for this election too because I live in China. Though I was not anxious to participate in this past election because none of the candidates were appealing, I did look into attaining an absentee ballot. During my research, I remembered that my permanent address is in one state, while my license is in another.
Reason… excuse… call it what you like, but after a few failed attempts, I resolved that I would not vote in the 2016 presidential election.
As for the two elections I did vote in, it was not simply because President Obama is black; that was just a bonus. I voted for him because he wanted to make America great. I knew that his presidency would only be a step in the right direction; even two terms are not enough to undo all that has been done, not just during the administration before his, but since the inception of America. Voting for President Obama was about hope, hope that America would come as close to “liberty, and justice for all” as possible.
Had I been in the States, would I have voted, ABSOLUTELY! Do I feel bad for not exercising a right that my ancestors gave their lives for, ABSOLUTELY! But at the end of the day, the electoral college ensures that my one vote in fact does not matter. Hillary won both States I could have voted in so my vote would not have made a difference. Had I voted third-party, I would have split the vote so once again, no real impact.
I know this post will not make me popular; it’s not what many want to hear, but it is my truth. I still believe that God has the final say, yet another statement that may gain me more ridicule than praise. And yes, I know that some of Trump supporters are making the same “final say” statements about his win…we are two-sides of the coin so to speak, but that doesn’t change my faith or conviction…it ain’t over until God says so.
Nicole A Schmidt is an internationally-acclaimed educator currently teaching English China, documenting her experiences along the way. Also a published YA poet/author, she continues to reach out to and advocate for those who cannot do so for themselves. Traveling to China, like other endeavors and accomplishments, was/is not only her chance of a lifetime, but an opportunity to empower teens and young adults of color to pursue chances of their own lifetimes.