Today is the last day to register to vote.
Over the years, we have all heard we need to vote because “this is the most important election in generations”, “in our lifetimes” or even “ever.” Usually, this is just campaign fodder to drive members of their party to get out and vote, nothing more, nothing less. Not so, in this election.
First, the White House is an open seat. There is no incumbent running for President in this election, leaving it completely open and guaranteeing both a new president and vice president come January 2017. As with all elections, a new President brings all new appointees to a large number of very key positions, but in addition, a new president also means our country will have a new vice president.
A new vice president is always significant, but even more so in this particular election because the vice president is the tie-breaking vote in the Senate, should there be an evenly split vote. Adding to the drama in this election cycle, the Senate is widely considered up for grabs. Currently, the senate is 54-46 in favor of the GOP with several Republican-held seats in hotly contested elections. It is not unrealistic to assume there is a chance the Senate will be split 50-50 after Election Day, further increasing the importance of the vice president and subsequently the presidential election.
Once the new Senate is sworn in, they will have a very important duty to fulfill; the duty of confirming the new presidential appointment to the Supreme Court. The Senate has already made clear they have no intentions of taking up a vote on President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, but now that Hillary is leading in the polls, rumor has it the republicans may confirm a Garland nomination just because Garland is probably closer to the republican side of the aisle than someone appointed by Hillary.
Currently, the court sits at a 4-4 split, making this next presidential appointment one that will sway the balance of the court. However, while the new president is likely to take office with one Supreme Court appointment to make, there is a chance that the next president could have one or even two additional appointments to the high court before their time as president is up, even if they only serve one term. This could ultimately end up being a presidency that sways the balance of the court for the next 20 years
By some estimates, one in every 45 voters is a nurse, meaning that one nurse truly can make a difference by getting involved with a campaign at any level, from local to federal. Voting is the most fundamental form of advocacy. Being an RN voter and advocate who engages and participates in the election process helps empower voters in the overall political process.
Go vote. It is an honor and an obligation of living in this country.