The Privilege of a Vote

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The Privilege of a Vote

Antoinette Aho, Editor-in-Chief

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With the upcoming election, it’s prime time for qualified citizens to register to vote in their respected state. Placing your vote is one of the most vital privileges that American citizens have, yet 4 out of 10 eligible voters do not participate.

National Public Radio reports that the 2016 presidential election tilted to Donald Trump with fewer than 80,000 votes across three states, causing a dramatic impact on the country. Yet, only about 6 in 10 eligible voters cast ballots in 2016. These numbers are alarmingly low and considering the irritation that comes when elections are over and unwanted nominees are elected, one doesn’t have the right to complain if they do not vote, nor promote others to do so as well.

Many believe that their individual vote will not have an impact on the outcome of the election, but this isn’t true. Some say that their state will inevitably support a specific party, but if a state historically swings conservative, such as Texas, this only occurs because the majority of voters chose that side.  

Art by Nick Anderson

      It was recorded that less than 50 percent of the eligible voting population of Texas voted in the past presidential election, meaning that the other half of the population could very well have overpowered them if they had voted. Even in midterm elections, which decide senate and congress seats, as well as some propositions and local laws for states, only 40 percent of voters engage. Although the numbers fluctuate in each election, these illustrate that a large portion of citizens are not finding a purpose in voting.

A few of the reasons people give for not voting include that they are uninterested in politics, too busy, too uneducated on the candidates. Some go as far to say that they are too disgusted with the political state of our country to consider it.

All of these reasons can be countered. First, by the fact that politics influence the majority of our lives and the community we live in, so not finding interest in them disconnects citizens from the modern world. Being uneducated about the candidates plays into this. Being too busy to vote is understandable, voters can have to wait up to two hours to vote, but one cannot be denied time off work to vote, it’s your right.

Lastly, being disgusted with current politics is an opinion, but there’s no way to make a change by not participating during each voting season. Your vote grants you the power to influence our politics and politicians for the better.

There are a plethora of reasons to participate in elections. Not only are you putting your voting rights to use when you do so but you are contributing to the decision making of your state and country. Just one vote can sway the majority in or out of your favor when citizens ignore their opportunity to vote they are disregarding this privilege.

Stepping up by putting your opinion in the box is what represents you as a citizen, it gives you the chance to change the governing and those doing the governing. It can’t be denied that politics control every aspect of our lives, and the popular vote determines which politicians.

Thus, as an American citizen, utilize your right to vote and cast your ballot this November 6.