The Importance of Voting by Hattie Lindell
Voting. A word defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “an expression of opinion or preference.” A concept well known by all Americans, as it should, considering our many things about this country are decided by elections. President, judges, mayors and governors are all voted upon by the general population; and if not, they are decided by elected officials.
Considering how much of our countries government revolves around voting and elections, wouldn’t it make sense for Americans to make their opinions heard through ballots?
Interestingly enough, that isn’t what is happening today. The 2008 US Census Bureau says that only 63% of all people registered to vote did. That doesn’t seem that bad, until you realize that only 72% of America is even registered to vote. In reality, only 45% of America is even voting in these elections, even though they could determine the fate of the country.
Personally, I believe that everyone should vote, because everyone has an opinion. In America’s democracy, we value our ability to choose who is in office, and revel in the fact that we have a say in what goes on in the political world. However, when less than half the country is voting regularly, we have to ask ourselves: is this really a democracy?
Yes, many people will argue, of course it is. We still have elections, and the country is run by the President. But look at it this way: the whole purpose of democracy is for every person to have a say in what goes on, and when less than half the country is voting, not everyone’s voice is being heard. And when not everyone is being heard, that’s not a democracy.
What concerns me is the fact that most of the people who don’t vote are young, those who are only 18 to 24 years old. Even though many people are opinionated and have different beliefs and ideals, most Millennials (individuals 18 to 29 years old) have removed themselves from the electoral process.
When I first heard these statistics, I was shocked. We always assume that everyone votes, but that is not the reality. What I found hardest to believe was the fact that only about half of the Millennials actually actively voice their thoughts. I personally cannot wait until I am old enough to have a say in the workings of the government, and I hate the thought that people who have the opportunity abuse it.
Because of this, and the fact that voter quite literally have the future of the country in their hands, I urge any and all people reading this to realize how big a part of democracy voting is, and to use the opportunities given to them to make a difference in America.
Citizens of many countries complain about the world around them, and many don’t have to option to change that world. However, you do. The youth of America have the power to make decisions that can affect the country. If you don’t like the way America is run, and yet you don’t vote in elections or make your opinions heard, then you, not the government is at fault.
I hope that in reading this essay I have helped you realized the importance of voting: because with the power to choose what happens in this country, we make America stronger. You personally can make America a stronger country by making the electoral process better, and that means voting.