In an election, every vote counts and the presidential election is no exception.
This election has been ridiculous to follow. Social media has been filled with people endorsing one candidate over the other since people started announcing that they were running for president. While social media is an open platform to discuss your political beliefs, I don’t think many are going to be swayed due to them having their own opinions – but it’s worth a shot.
On election night, tweets started claiming that Harambe, the Cincinnati gorilla that was shot this past summer, received thousands of write-in votes. Since then, Snopes has disproved that and said that no actual number has been given as to how many votes Harmabe got.
As for the final vote count, CNN said Donald Trump finished with 47.3 percent of the popular vote (60,294,775) to Hillary Clinton’s 47.8 percent (60,882,368). Every vote counted and your vote always matters.
While voting for a third-party candidate is your choice, writing in a dead gorilla is wasting your vote. You must be 18 years or older to vote in a United States election. That means adults got up on election day and stood in line to cast their vote for an animal that has been dead for months.
As for write-ins, ABC News said, “Only eight states – Alabama, Iowa, North Dakota, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont – tally write- ins without requiring candidates to file paperwork, the NASS says, and even the least restrictive states have some disqualifying criteria.”
Mississippi isn’t even one of the states that count your write- ins unless that person has filed the necessary papers weeks or months prior. That means that if you wrote anyone in as your presidential candidate who did not file their papers, you threw your vote away. I don’t think people who write candidates in as a joke take the election process seriously.
I find it insulting to everyone who took the time to research the actual candidates and vote for who they wanted to run this country. I’ve heard people say that third party candidate votes are throwing your vote away or giving it to Trump or Hillary in this election, but at least those were real candidates.
I’ve also come across several people saying that they were going to write in Bernie Sanders before the election. I was a Sanders supporter, but I did not write him in. I chose not to because he was no longer running for president. Sanders did not fill out the papers to run and was openly endorsing Clinton.
Since this election is over, it is too late to change your vote now. In future elections, however, keep in mind that you should be informed about who’s name you write on your ballot.
On another note, there are countless twitter accounts for Harambe that you can follow instead of voting for him as your candidate and, remember, you can always unfollow people on Facebook without them knowing if the political debates become too much to handle.
Also, it is illegal to take a photo of your ballot in Mississippi, so try to avoid going to jail.