5 Reasons to Cast a Ballot

Today was a good day: I early voted in the Florida primaries. This is the second time I’ve ever voted. Even though (in Florida at least) you fill out a glorified scan-tron, I still find voting to be very rewarding, especially after this summer’s internship. Young people like ourselves have notoriously low voter turnout rates, but I don’t see why we can’t be more involved with the political process. Voting is one small action that can do a whole lot of good.

5. The Blame Game. Don’t like the way your community, county, state, or country are run? One thing you can do about that is vote. If you have the right to vote and then choose not to exercise it, then you probably shouldn’t be complaining about the decisions elected officials are making. Voting gives you the opportunity to choose your representatives in government, so vote for people whose views are like yours.

4. Youth Issues. Think about hot-button issues: the war, education, the economy. These topics affect everyone, especially the youth and our future. Politicians are politicians, and they cater to their leading demographics. They are much more likely to listen to those who do vote, and if young voters are a large voting block, we’ll get plenty of attention to our needs.

3. Democracy- Duh. In the famed Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln referred to democracy as: “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. A key phrase there? By the people. Democracy doesn’t work if the citizens don’t participate.

2. History. Yesterday was the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting the state and federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote based on sex. Historically, many groups of people have been disenfranchised. After all of their struggles, the least we can do is vote.

1. Current Events. Just halfway across the world, people are fighting and dying to have the right to vote and have those votes be counted. Just look at least year’s revolution in Iran after the elections. You probably know people who can’t vote because of their citizenship status or whose homelands have struggled with controversies in elections. If anything, vote for the people who don’t have a voice yet.

What do you think? Do value the right to vote? Do you vote?

~ Sarah

P.S. Casting a ballot is half the battle. It’s very important to be an informed voter. Before voting, I would recommend reading your local newspaper for thorough analysis of the candidates and amendments you may be voting on. How do you keep yourself informed? How do you know you’re making the right choice?