Which headline sounds more important: “Billionaire Donates $40 Million to Republican Super Pacs” or “A Minimum Wage Worker Decides to Vote Democrat.” I’ll give you a hint: 91% of the time, the candidate with the most money wins. One vote is a rounding error, but $40 million can get you enough votes to win an election. In our democracy, the more money you have, the more you matter, whether you’re a company or a person.

As of now, the average U.S. congressman spends 36.7% of his or her time courting donors, making promises in order to secure their funds. If a major donor makes a demand, a candidate has two choices: agree or risk losing the election. An incumbent currently in office has to appease his funders; otherwise he’ll have to spend even more time searching for new ones when the next cycle comes around.

It’ll be no different when I turn 18 and can actually vote. A candidate’s secretary isn’t going to rush into his office, panicked, because he or she just got word that I decided not to vote for him. If a major funder suddenly withdrew his five million dollar donation, though, that would cause panic. Money shouldn’t be a factor, but its power is only growing.

Since the 2009 Citizens United decision, when the Supreme Court ruled many campaign finance restrictions unconstitutional, money has only become more important. The average price of a Senate seat in 2012 was a little over ten million dollars, two million more than in 2008. A senior official at the Ready for Hillary Super Pac estimates that her campaign could cost $1.7 billion, 70% more than Obama’s in 2012. Direct bribes are not off the table. It is now legal for lobbyists to pay congressional representatives with all expenses paid vacations, luxury hotels and rented Lamborghinis, without reporting those gifts publicly.

A politician dependent on big money is a politician who prioritizes big money over the rest of America. As elections become more expensive, that dependence becomes worse. Campaign finance reform is essential to our health as a democracy. Our government should be by the people for the people, not for some people. The political opinions of a billionaire shouldn’t influence elections any more than those of a minimum wage worker.

We need to do two things to get money out of politics: first, we need to prioritize it above other issues on the table right now. One vote might not be as important as a million dollars, but thousands of votes still means something. If campaign finance reform becomes the top issue for the American public, it will get resolved. Second, we need to stand behind organizations that advocate for it. Groups like Represent.Us, Rootstrikers and Mayday Pac are all working in different ways to push for change, but they need our support.

Your vote shouldn’t be weighted based on your net worth, but right now, it is.