Even though Barack Obama won in a landslide four years ago, I was still proud to go out in my reddest-of-red-states and vote for him. But this year is exciting, because every vote really is going to matter. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Alabama’s going to be a swing state in my lifetime. But smart people like the teams at FiveThirtyEight and PollTracker show that the popular vote is much closer than the electoral college tally. So no, Alabama’s not going to play a role in re-electing a Democratic president. But our votes do matter in the popular vote! It may not be what gets the president re-elected, but it can make or break his mandate to lead in his next term. So even if you’re jaded because your state’s solidly red (or solidly blue), make sure you’re registered to vote. When the stakes are this high and the margin is this close, it really does actually matter.