First new overall record, surpassing the 132 million

First directly used in Ancient Greece over two thousand years ago, Athenian democracy gave power to the people as they voted directly on legislation and executive bills. In the modern world things have changed, and representative democracy is more prominent. In the United States, citizens elect representatives to form their governing body, who then vote on laws and changes to the government. A revolutionary concept from Ancient Greece, democracy gives the right to equality and freedom of expression to all citizens, which it has so much value. Especially in times of division, democracy grants differing opinions and beliefs equal representation. In the process of electing a president, this value is becoming cumulatively pertinent. A study done by Columbia University shows that the average 2008 election voter only had a one in 60 million chance of deciding the race. There is realistically no contingent that an individual’s vote solely changes an elections outcome. The inevitable conclusion is that, contrary to popular belief and government propaganda, your individual vote doesn’t count. That’s not the way a democracy is designed to work. Even though this is the case, change is something a group of all voters can accomplish. Even in Athenian democracy, if everybody thought that voting was irrational and a waste of time, nobody would vote and the democracy would collapse. In a democracy, voting is not individual, but an act the community does as a whole. Sovereign power is rooted in the citizens, and ones vote can make a change as part of a political community. If one vote could easily change the election, then it would no longer fairly represent the strength of assembly- which is a literal definition of demokratia. Nonetheless, according to the United States Election Project, nearly 139 million Americans voted in the historical 2016 election. This was a new overall record, surpassing the 132 million contest between Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008. Early voting records were broken, and democrats were full of confidence that Hillary Clinton would become the 45th president. When counted, votes proved almost every poll’s prediction wrong as Republican Donald Trump headed to the White House.  In the 2016 elections, there were candidates with undoubtedly contrasting points of views. However each competitor was treated with balanced respect by the system and the result was record breaking voter turnout. With extreme and close tied candidates, everyone wanted their voice to be heard, to support what they valued and believed in. In fact, the winner did not matter as much as the process. The sheer size of the voting population compared to the small Athenian cities that practiced democracy shows just how far this system has come. The exceptional opportunity it gives is esteeming. Even in a complex, contemporary world where opinions can collide, a new form of the Ancient Greek value continues to uphold and allows for all voices to be considered equal.