Why I Vote

October 26, 2020
Why I Vote

Harvard Votes Challenge asked members of the Harvard community, 'Why do you vote?' 


Luke Albert, Harvard College

I vote because it’s a responsibility I have to participate in our democracy. Voting is an essential to shaping our communities and country in our own image. Voting empowers us and our values.

Morgan Burke, Harvard Kennedy School 

I vote to honor all those who fought for my right to vote. I vote because it's the least I can do to help our country on our path to be a more perfect union. I vote because I can't imagine not voting.

Archon Fung, Harvard Kennedy School

I think democracy is the best system of government that we've invented so far. Democracy requires everyone to participate. If you don't participation, it's not democracy. It's a someone-else-ocracy.

Betsy Garder, Harvard Kennedy School

I vote because I want to have a say - I don't want decisions to be made about my health, my community, or the environment without my input. Voting is one of the most important way to be heard!

Alex Grayson, Harvard College

As a pre-med, I understand the power that policy has on social determinants of health. By voting, I can pick elected officials that will address these issues and improve the health of my community.

Julian Handler, Harvard College

I will vote because I care about who's given power to positively or negatively impact our lives.

Katherine Hillenbrand, Harvard Kennedy School

I care about my community and believe that we must vote to elect representatives that will fight for our collective future.

Jon Joanino, Harvard Kennedy School


Mari Jones, Harvard College

I vote for the generations of people before me who were disenfranchised and violently sanctioned from the polls. I vote to have a voice about my rights, the rights of others, and a better world.

Melissa Kappotis, Harvard Kennedy School

I vote to speak for those less fortunate than I. I vote to create a better future for my nieces and nephews. I vote to protect my rights & I vote to make my voice heard. I vote to protect democracy.

Alex Keyssar, Harvard Kennedy School

I vote because as an historian who has chronicled the history of voting rights, I’m very aware of the millions of people, in the past, who have marched, petitioned, rallied, and fought for the right to vote – some of whom were beaten or killed for having done so. As a citizen, I must respect their struggles and act upon their achievements.

Min Kim, Harvard Division of Continuing Education (Extension School)

I vote because I want my voice heard starting locally, and improve my community.  

Alexander (Sandy) Koenig, Harvard College

It's voting! It's so fun. Nothing makes me feel more American than going into the ballot box and getting my little "I voted" sticker from the poll workers. I haven't missed an election yet.

Jose Martinez, Harvard Kennedy School

I vote because my vote matters. And I feel fortunate to know that my vote is my right, and no one can take it away from me!

Anna Miller, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health 

I vote because we need leaders who understand that climate change requires all hands on deck and that strong climate action will improve everyone's health, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Ruhi Nath, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I vote to honor every sacrifice my parents made in immigrating to the US and providing me and my sisters with every opportunity. I have the privilege to vote and help create a more equitable future.

June Park, Harvard College 

I vote because this and every other election sets the trajectory of OUR future. I want to be represented by diverse people who fight for equal rights for ALL Americans, especially minority groups. 

McKenzie Parkins, Harvard Graduate School of Education

In the words of Audre Lorde, “We were taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.” I vote because my vote is my voice.

Preston Pero, Harvard Kennedy School

My partner and I vote to make our voices heard. We can advocate, march, & post as much as we want, but nothing carries the same weight as a ballot. We celebrate the privilege to stand and be counted! 

Kathryn Peters, Harvard Kennedy School Alumna

I'm a voter because our democracy works best when we all have a voice. I vote because it's one small part of being a good neighbor, an active community member, and an engaged citizen.

Jahnavi Rao, Harvard College 

The decisions being made today effect our generation more than any other, and we deserve to have a say in what our future looks like.

Katharine Robb, Harvard Kennedy School

I vote because I want to elect leaders who will help ensure my daughter and all children can live in a more just, kind, and sustainable world.

Tony Saich, Harvard Kennedy School 


Kathryn Sikkink, Harvard Kennedy School 


Scott Stackpole, Harvard Kennedy School 

One reason I vote is I live in a town of about 1000 people in upstate New York, where local elections are often decided by single digits and sometimes even a single vote. My vote here matters.

Michelle Zhang, Harvard College 

I vote because if I don’t, decisions that affect my life, family, community, etc. are going to be made regardless, without my input. So I vote my priorities and to make sure they are recognized.

Alan Zhang, Harvard College 

I vote because there are races up and down the ballot that I care about and that will affect my life. There are also awesome candidates running for everything from township trustee to U.S. Senator!