What is at Stake on November 3?


Abigail Felan

In the upcoming November election, there is more on the ballot than the individual candidates. Inform yourself on the issues to know where your vote goes.

Abigail Felan, Staff Writer

During this upcoming election, there is more on the ballot than simply just the presidential candidates. With the severity of the ongoing pandemic, the Trump administration has shown an inadequate response. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the next administration to plan how to combat the disastrous effects COVID-19 had caused. Decisions on issues like climate change, healthcare and women’s reproductive rights will greatly impact the lives of all American people and change the course of the growth and development of our nation. When comparing the two presidential candidates, it is clear that a potential Biden administration would know how to deal with these issues whereas the current Trump administration has shown a failure to acknowledge science and the well-being of the American people.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a big issue for anyone and everyone at the moment. The allocation of funds for public schools to abide by certain health protocols will be determined. The Affordable Care Act will either be repealed or added to. Affordable healthcare will be one of the most important issues, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. To get a better idea of accessibility to healthcare within the United States, in 2018, 27.5 million Americans were uninsured. The majority of the American population is covered by private health insurance which is not affordable to everyone. The Affordable Care Act extended healthcare to 20 million more Americans and provided more affordable healthcare for many more people. The Biden campaign has expressed a plan to expand on this legislation to better help the American population that lacks healthcare. The next administration will have to plan how to move forward and overcome the effects of the virus on the American population. Anything from mask policies to the safe reopening of your favorite movie theater is in the control of our next president.

As the United States experiences the effects of climate change with extreme weather patterns and increased air pollution, it has become apparent that the climate crisis is a matter of life or death if it is not properly dealt with. Politicians with more left leaning policies have endorsed the Green New Deal which includes a plan to slow the climate crisis, neither presidential candidate is a proponent of this legislation. Although Biden does not endorse the Green New Deal, he has created his own plan based off of the legislation presented in the GND. Biden’s climate plan is advertised as a Clean Energy Revolution which will invest in clean energy and will reestablish the United States as a member of the Paris Agreement to work in cooperation with the rest of the world to combat climate change. When comparing both candidates’ stances on climate change, one will take advice from climate scientists and base legislation off of that while the other has no plan nor any intention to hear from the experts.

“Climate change is a constantly increasing danger to our planet and we, as a global community, have a responsibility to lead against the existential threat that is the climate crisis. The world is witnessing the beginning of a mass extinction at the hands of climate change, and we need to act, and vote, accordingly,” sophomore Marina Devine said.

Not only are citizens just voting for the new presidential administration and our next supreme court justice, but they are voting for female rights. With that, there is an ongoing debate on the topic of women’s reproductive rights between right and left-leaning politicians. The case of Roe versus Wade, made in 1973, is a very hot topic at the moment with many Republican Senators and members of the House making a lot of commotion to overturn this law in the Supreme Court. Roe v. Wade gave women across the United States the right to chose and legally obtain an abortion. Pro-life politicians want to make abortions illegal and defund Planned Parenthood. The nonprofit does not only offer safe abortions but they provide birth control, STD testing, vaccines, screening for reproductive cancers, prenatal care and pregancy services, condoms, transgender health services and hormone replacement therapy. They save the lives of those who have fallen by the wayside of our healthcare system. The right to chose and have access to an abortion gives women the safety of making their choice and following through with proper care and medical advice. Removing access to a legal abortion would be unsafe for pregnant women and their fetuses. This issue will most likely be brought to the Supreme Court in the upcoming year and depending on the majority, a pro-life or pro-choice decision will be made.

Finally, the most widespread call to justice is the Black Lives Matter movement, which originated as a response to the police brutality that many Black people face in the United States. The issue of systemic racism is one of the most talked about issues at the moment to raise awareness about police brutality after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Atatiana Jefferson and so many others. This issue needs to be addressed by the next administration because the current Trump administration refuses to acknowledge the severe mistreatment of Black communities in the United States. Instead of inciting violence, discrimination and racism, the next president should look to address the issue of racism and racists in this country and in the police system. The lives and safety of Black people in America are on the ballot.

“Although in this country, it is not an obligation to vote, the American people should exercise their right to vote because it gives a better representation of the popular vote, giving a more accurate response to important issues,” junior Andrea Delgado said.

When voting, it is important to remember the disadvantaged people in your community. It is important to consider those who are homeless, without healthcare and those who do not speak English into your decisions. Vote thinking about those who cannot because they are trapped in cages at the border and those who have been shot by police officers because of the color of their skin. Vote for the safety of women, People of Color, indigenous peoples and those in the LGBTQ+ community. Your voice can be heard through the power of your vote. That power is the key to change.