Election Day 2016: Will you let your voice be heard?

Austin Ely, Opinion Writer

Election day bares down on the United States like it never has before. With two of the most unpopular candidates in history locked in a contentious race for the White House, there is little room for error on either side.

However, when it comes down to it, the focus of an election cannot stem from just these two people, it must stem from all people.

The question is, will the people’s voice be heard on November 8th?

There has been speculation in the past weeks leading up to election day that the United States election system is rigged, non-democratic and phony.

People like Donald Trump himself have said things supporting this notion. This is something that discourages people from voting at all with the idea that their vote will not matter if the system is “rigged.”

Even if it is true that the election system in the United States is rigged in some way, the people should not sit idle and allow it to continue.

This notion should actually encourage people to vote and not just vote but participate in the process by encouraging others to as well. Aside from that, people should not be discouraged by the fact that neither candidate is their choice. The write-in option exists, yet, people are discouraged by this as well.

Although write-in campaigns have been unsuccessful as of yet for the general election, write-ins have worked numerous times for the primary election and more.

Even so, that should not discourage Americans to vote.The stigmas that come with voting for a particular candidate also discourages voters.

If someone is voting for Hillary Clinton others may label them as a liar or hypocrite.

If someone is voting for Donald Trump others may label them as a racist or bigot. Either way these stigmas and labels go they are directly contrived from the candidates themselves and do not reflect the entirety of their voter base.

However, stigmas and labels should not discourage someone from voting for Clinton, Trump or even writing-in Bernie Sanders. Instead it is the act of voting itself that should energize, excite and encourage all who are able to vote.

Pennsylvania serves as a battleground state for a reason. There are pockets of loyal democrats that center around urban areas such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.

There are also pockets of loyal republicans who dominate much of the rural areas and beyond. It is a struggle of party lines and a struggle for votes.

However, although someone may be a loyal democrat or republican, everyone is independent in the sense that they have a choice.

That freedom of choice is something that should and can never be taken from a person, no matter how they identify themselves or how others identify them.

No matter if the election is “rigged”, the possibility of a write-in low or stigmas make voters think twice, this election is the choice of a lifetime and generation.

It is the hand of the people that the presidential candidates bow. On election day, November 8th, 2016, that hand will cast the votes and the voice of the people will be heard.

Will your hand cast a vote? Will your voice be heard?