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    About Our Cover

    CHEER San Francisco, the official cheer team of the City and County of San Francisco, has provided inspiration and support to the LGBTQ community and beyond since the group’s founding in 1980. Now, in an image created exclusively for the San Francisco Bay Times, they are urging you to vote—make that VOTE in all caps—during this extremely important election season. We are in the home stretch, so if you haven’t voted already, now is the time to do so.

    The battle even to have the right to vote led to imprisonment and death for some seeking equality. Black men in the U.S. did not gain the right to vote until after the Civil War, with Black male suffrage established by the 15th Amendment in 1870. It took another 50 years before women were technically granted the right to vote in 1920. Widespread voter suppression, however, prevented numerous women of color from voting until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965.

    When you vote, you are therefore exercising a hard-earned right and honoring those who fought for it, along with helping to decide elections.

    Data from the U.S. Elections Project shows that roughly 43 percent of eligible voters nationwide did not bother to fill out a ballot during the 2016 elections. Parsing out the votes for those who did, this means that people who could have voted but chose not to outnumbered those who cast a vote for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or another candidate. Such indifference empowers those who wish to influence election results outside of voting. 

    Please then heed the call of our cover, and hopefully then we will all have something to truly cheer about in November and the months to come.

    CHEER San Francisco:

    Published on October 22, 2020