Voting: Your Voice and Opinion Matter

 

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Since the last cycle of voting in 2016, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how their vote and voice doesn’t matter. They state that no matter how they vote, things won’t change. They don’t see how their vote can do any good. So, they don’t vote.

I disagree with that thinking. I disagree with it so much. If you have the privilege of voting, you should exercise that right.

Your voice does matter. Your vote does matter. How? Why?

When you realize that the state and local elections are where change can happen, that’s when you realize your voice matters. Some people might not get what I’m saying because the focus is always on the presidential election.

But, people are waking up now.

What I mean by that is — many people realize that the state and local government elections are important. They are realizing that change starts at the bottom. Our representatives are who should be our focus. Our representatives should be the people that vote in our favor, not their favor or for the lobbyists that are going to pay them. They should not be able to be bought by big corporations and people that won’t vote in their community’s best interest.

My first time voting was in 2012. It was when President Barack Obama was running for his second term against Mitt Romney, and I was so excited. I didn’t take an interest in politics until President Obama’s first term, and I saw history made. I was 16 years old and could finally understand what was going on, ya know? And, I think a lot of people believe African-Americans voted from him because he is Black, but that’s not the case. We saw hope and change.

And, don’t try to tell me why I voted for the man or why my parents’ did. There was a spark after seeing how the Bush-era ran. I remember so many people thinking President Obama should have accomplished so much more in his first term and that was silly to me because Rome wasn’t built in a day and this country couldn’t just flip a switch in a year or two. Yes, people had those expectations of him, but they wouldn’t hold those holding this country back accountable.

Obviously, I have a lot of love in my heart for President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. If that bothers you or turns you away, that’s on you…, not me.

There is so much more I could say, but I’ll give you all of the reasons why I vote.

Why do I vote?

This wasn’t a thing that many African-Americans or women could do a short period ago.

1965.

That wasn’t too long ago despite what people will tell you. My grandmother couldn’t vote because she was black and a woman. My ancestors couldn’t vote.

For me, this is a blessing. I have a voice and a vote that matters. I’m voting for the people that weren’t allowed to vote 50+ years ago. That’s my number one reason — do you know how many people fought for my opportunity to do this? There are people alive and roaming this country that was some of the first to vote. They fought for my right to use my voice and not be stagnant in what is going on.

I vote because I want people that are going to work for me. I want the government to work for me as they should be. The party lines need to be ignored, and the people need to be the focus. That’s what I hope for. I believe that people deserve access to free healthcare — affordable healthcare, so they don’t have to worry about their next payment or bill. If Congress can have health care that we pay into, what is the issue having it applied to taxes? Obviously, these are many of the thoughts that run through my head.

In fact, there are many things that I vote for like women’s rights, criminal justice reform, gun control, education, and climate control. These are all things on the ballot that many people forget about. LGBTQ equality is on the ballot. DACA is on the ballot. The wage should be a priority where people can make a minimum wage that allows them to support themselves and earn a living. I believe in equal pay. Why should I make less than a man while having to pay the same amount of tuition as him? It doesn’t make sense.

Thus I vote for leaders that are going to make a better future for my future children. This isn’t just about me. I don’t make my vote about me because there is so much more on the table than just myself. I understand that local and state governments mean voting for the schools and their funding which I believe is important. In my opinion, children deserve the best. And, I’m going to continue to vote so that they can get the best education and best supplies.

Again, I believe if we want to see a change that we have to fight for that change.

Do you see why I vote?

And, why you should vote?

If your vote weren’t important, they wouldn’t be trying to suppress it. Did you know they are doing that in many states? So many people are being denied their right to vote, and it’s frustrating. The people that should be working for us should not be trying to stop us from our civic duty.

For this reason, I am going to vote. They can’t stop my vote, and they can’t stop your vote. With this in mind, along with all my other reasons, I’m always going to vote.

Your vote matters or they wouldn’t be trying to stop it. From purging voters from the system to turning people away at the polls, they want to do everything that they can to win. This is why you can’t just sit back and not do anything. You have the right to vote, and you should use that right.

Not voting because it’s your choice, that’s a privilege you have that many other people don’t. You aren’t affected by the things on the ballot, so you don’t think you need to vote. I think that’s selfish in some ways. You can make a change in someone’s life and their future.

Are you confused about what’s going on? There are so many sources out there right now that can help you. I’m not ashamed to say I went to the Skimm to figure out the other issues going on in my community. Also, there is Ballot Ready, and this is probably your best source for knowing everything that is coming up on your ballot. Vote Save America is another source that you can utilize to see what’s on the ballot. You have so many options to go into Election Day with the knowledge of what is going on.

I find that when people don’t know about everything that is happening, they sit the election out but you shouldn’t do that. You have two weeks to get all the knowledge! Don’t miss out on your chance to make a difference.

As time winds down, I hope you reconsider. I hope you go out and vote. I believe that many of our differences make us great and what you vote for is what you want to see change. Vote for what you believe in even if it differs from your friends and family. It’s YOUR vote, no one else’s and you should indulge in that honor.

Today we’re encouraging you to check your voter status through @RockTheVote and making sure you’re in the clear for November 6th. http://bit.ly/RegVote2018

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4 Comments

  1. tren
    October 30, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    So important for us to use our voice. And for you to use your platform to express the importance, is simply amazing!

  2. October 30, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    I love this! I just sent in my absentee ballot yesterday!

  3. October 31, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    Yup, the main people mad with the current situation of things are the same ones that were too scared too or didn’t care to vote. Like, whet?! Educate yourself and go fulfill your civic duty by voting. Don’t forget to take advantage of early voting yall!

  4. October 31, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    I loved this article! I vote because my ancestors didn’t have the right to vote for being a woman and black plus I will exercise my voice in my government as long as I can. 40 million people din’t vote because they believed their vote didn’t matter but they could have decided an entire election!

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