This archived article was written by: Chantyl Henrie
Your vote is your voice as an American citizen. It is your opportunity to be heard, to hold elected officials accountable for their decisions and to have a say in important issues that affect your community.
On Election Day, every vote matters. Many students believe that their vote will not make a difference. But recent history has shown that elections can be decided by a handful of voters.
True, it may be a representative democracy, but your elected representatives still need to know how their constituents think in order to accurately represent them. They are counting on your vote as a part of that process. The one that followed the 2000 presidential election is still fresh in many people’s minds.
Despite conventional attitudes about college students not being in the “real world,” much ofyour daily life involves serious and important decisions. You manage your finances; you are taking charge of your education and career, you are doing your best, to improve yourselfthrough higher education. In essence, you are becoming an adult. Your vote, then, matters most becauseyou are finally able to cast it.
Warwick Smith, journalist for the Guardian magazine, explains “If democracy is broken, whyshould we vote? However, many have argued that modern Western political systems are closer toplutocracies than democracies. A plutocracy is ruled by money rather than by the people. The costs ofrunning a modern election campaign make it difficult for candidates to win without substantialfinancial backing.
Our society is all about complaining about people changing things, rather than standing up andmaking a change. So if you do not vote, then you do not have the right to complain about how ourcountry is changing in different directions. Voting give you the privilege to complain because you tried to stand up for what you believe in and make a change. Our youth should get up and vote rather than our parents and grandparents. It is our future not theirs, our voting depends on our children’s future.
Millions of veterans fought for our freedom to provide the right to vote and many more are making sure our freedom to vote is not disturbed.
Tony Jaramillo, says “As I voted today I say mostly elderly and vet and I wondered where is the youth? I have voted every year since the ripe old age of 18 and our up and coming leaders need to get active and see how the politics run from the county all the way up to the president. You may say what is one vote? One vote has been the deciding ballot on many a race and if you want your voice heard GO VOTE!” Voting is a big part of today’s ways of making a difference, we vote for everything that we do, for example, we vote in class who wants to do what activity, majority rules. We vote if you are a dancer picking out a costume, majority rules. We as people vote for everything. Why not vote for something that matters a whole lot more then simple things. Vote for something that will be your future.
Don’t sit back and say that your vote won’t matter because it just might.