Vote: It’s Important


Rian Edwards, Writer

The citizens of our neighboring countries mourn for the world around them, and many don’t have the power to change it. But we do. The American people have the authority to vote and make decisions that can affect our country. If you don’t like the way our President chooses to run the country, yet you don’t vote in elections or make your voice heard, then you, not the government, are at fault. However, many people, especially newer voters, feel as though their voice has gone unnoticed and neglected by the electoral staff. The American people face injustices every day, and sometimes these issues seem to be too difficult to handle. But my belief is instilled with faith and stands on a strong foundation of hope and action. While sometimes it is tempting to withdraw from all the activity, as American people, we should be devoted to creating a safe reality for future generations, starting with voting.

The most basic right of a citizen in a democracy is their right to vote. Without this right, people can be easily ignored and even abused by their government. That is what happened to African American citizens living in the South following Civil War Reconstruction. Despite the 14th and 15th amendments guaranteeing the civil rights of Americans, including black Americans, their right to vote was systematically taken away by white supremacists. It wasn’t until after the civil war that they realized how much power they had over their own lives. But even with this right, many African American people still refuse to vote because they feel as though their voices are inferior in this predominantly white patriarchy.

Women had to endure a similar struggle. After years of protesting and marching, the government ratified the 19th amendment. The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a long and difficult struggle; victory took decades of unrest and turmoil. In the 19th century, several generations of women suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil rebellion to achieve what many people considered was a “radical change of the Constitution.” But as the years went by, their efforts faced resistance from both men and women. Women’s rights activists started to lose faith, but they didn’t give up; ultimately they succeeded. By 1920, the women’s suffrage movement began to gain momentum in the United States and abroad. 

Today, voting is more important than ever; a portion of Americans will vote in the most conflicted and emotionally charged midterm election that any of us have beheld. This year’s election is an opportunity for all registered Americans to speak up about different issues the Supreme Court is trying to handle, such as the Affordable Care Act, abortion laws, same-sex marriage laws, etc. This year’s election could be a turning point for America, good or bad.

If you are not registered to vote, educate yourself, inform others, and hope for the best.