Your Right to Vote and Why You Should

I recently had an essay published on The Big Smoke. I talk about the education I received in school about politics and voting. More accurately, I talk about how horrible it was. I also talk about how I finally started taking politics seriously in my 30s. My voice could very well be responsible for the future state of this country. Why wouldn’t I use it?

I’m sure by now you’re probably sick of hearing about the election. Believe me, there are days when I don’t want to hear another thing about it. But it’s fair to say the reason this election is literally everywhere is because of its importance.

It’s fair to say the current administration does not have everyone’s best interests in mind. They want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act during a time when thousands of people are out of work due to a global pandemic. Do they have a replacement plan ready to go? No.

I understand administrations wanting to change things they don’t agree with but at least have a plan in place. They need to stop putting their personal vendettas first. The safety and concern of the American people should always lead to their decisions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.

I’m not here to get into a debate about administrations. Everyone has a right to vote for whatever person they believe will do the best job.

What I’m here to tell you is if you’re falling in the “I’m not sure I want to vote because I don’t like either candidate” hole, you need to vote.

Not voting just because you don’t like a candidate is not the answer. 

Believe me, I’m not thrilled with the choices. I’m still voting because not voting will make me feel like I didn’t give my voice a chance to be heard.

I vote because my vote is my voice and when I don’t vote I give up my power and the chance for change.

It’s our responsibility to teach younger generations that we’re not always going to have candidates we like on the ballot. But voting is still important because a non-vote can swing in the direction you don’t want to go. 

You’ve probably heard people say if you didn’t vote, you shouldn’t complain. I’m sorry to say I agree with that statement. If you want to see change, you have to use your voice. And our voices during an election are loudest on the ballot. I know there doesn’t seem to be a silver lining anytime soon, but if we don’t vote and steer our country in the right direction, there won’t be one for a really long time.

So please, get out there and vote. Vote early. Get involved. Make phone calls. Send letters. Text. Volunteer to work at the polls. Getting involved is one of the best ways to learn about the importance of elections. And if you’re still in school, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher harder questions. We won’t change the way we learn about politics unless we take the initiative to change it.

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