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While the Feeling’s Still Fresh: A Letter to Those Who Wrote-In Harambe

I took this photo and meant to post it yesterday morning to encourage people to vote. I didn’t do that and now I wish I did. Last night, I thought that enough of my peers would cast their votes to continue moving us forward. I believed in our generation, and I believed in my friends, colleagues, and everyone who showed me their progressive and inclusive values. I believed in you.

I also believed that you cared about your community. I thought that you would take the time to read up on what was happening in your own state, in your own city, in your own backyard. That’s where your vote matters most because you have to live with those circumstances the most.

Instead, we had people write in “Harambe” and willingly nullify their vote for the most important election we’ve seen in recent history. Oh, and let’s not forget about the ones who kept saying, “I don’t want to vote, our choices suck.”

They also decided not to vote at all because, in their minds, a vote in their state didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. With how close the numbers were in some states, I hope you realize that your vote did matter and you have no justification to post about the nightmare you are now Facebook-ranting about.

You actively chose not to exercise a fundamental right. Let this be the push you need to participate and actively seek to educate yourself and others on the issues that need to be solved and reforms that need to be made.

Your quality of life depended on this election. I hope you see that now and I hope that you can accept that your standing still was the most consequential action you ever chose to do.

Now, we have a President-elect that I hope to God will become educated about the people he now represents. I knew that in whatever way this election turned out, we all had to come together. But, man, now we really have to come together.


P.S.: Please keep the conversation going. Midterms are in 2018.


  1. It’s sad that most people didn’t vote. Now look who they have now as president. Votes does matter even if you don’t like anyone of them. It’s too late for them and they have to face the consequence for years. Sigh

    • I still have to give credit to the millions and millions of people who did vote. However, it was still sad that people chose not to vote because they didn’t see that their vote mattered. True, our system is flawed (presidents aren’t elected by popular vote — or else Hillary Clinton would be our president), but it’s still important that people vote for the local and state issues that were on the ballot. Ultimately, who we vote in locally affects who gets to be at the Capitol.

  2. Beautifully written, Yen. I couldn’t agree more. I don’t regret forcing Roan to turn in his ballot. I know his vote mattered even if his president didn’t win.

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