Voting is one of the greatest privileges we have as US citizens, yet every election cycle millions of Americans don't make it to the voting booth or face difficulties submitting their vote. Voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election hit a 20-year low with only 55% of voting-age citizens heading to the polls. In 2018, almost 48% of the voting population cast their votes, the highest midterm election turnout since 1966.
So what does this mean? It means that all of us have the power to create a more sustainable future when we vote for policies that will make a positive environmental impact. Over 10 million environmentalists failed to submit their vote in the 2016 election. Imagine what could happen if the same 10 million turned out in 2020!
You may be wondering, how can showing up at the ballot box shape the outcome of this election and move us closer to a more sustainable future?
Here are some ways that your vote matters when it comes to protecting the environment and fighting climate change.
1. Supporting a Green New Deal. This Congressional plan with reforms for tackling climate change and moving toward a Green economy will fail or succeed based on the outcomes of the 2020 General Election. This proposal advocates for transitioning the United States to 100% renewable energy and zero-emission sources. In early 2019, the Green New Deal was stopped in the Senate, but we can change its fate in Congress by voting to elect representatives who support this important piece of legislation.
2. Nominating a Future-Forward EPA Chief. The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. You can use your vote to elect representatives who will confirm a chief that is dedicated to protecting both our health and the health of the environment.
3. Protecting Common-Sense Environmental Regulations. Members of Congress are responsible for setting standards and regulations when it comes to energy use, air and water quality, and more. Electing representatives who support strong environmental regulations is a key step toward fighting climate change. Curious to see how your representatives vote when it comes to environmental regulations? Check out the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.
You have the power to combat climate change and move us closer to an environmentally sustainable future with your vote this November. Click here to learn how you can register here in North Carolina or click here to find information about voting in other states across the U.S.