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Why Your Vote Matters

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

There seems to be a common misconception among college-age students that voting isn’t important. Maybe this belief stems from simply being a first time voter, or maybe it stems from frustration with the party system. Either way, this way of thinking is extremely dangerous, especially with the presidential election just around the corner.  If you are eligible to vote and are choosing to abstain, I’m here to tell you why you should reconsider.

1. Voting is a privilege.

Citizens of the United States are lucky enough to have the right to vote listed in the Constitution. Because we are raised assuming that it is a right all people have, I think we take it for granted. There are countries all over the world where people have to fight to vote and have their voice heard. There are some countries where people don’t even get the chance. People need to recognize that the only reason they are able to vote is because others have fought to ensure them this right. Choosing not to vote through ignorance or apathy is disrespectful to all those who must suffer through injustice every day. You have a responsibility to your fellow citizens to invest in the future of your country. Voting is the minimum requirement for fulfilling this responsibility.

2. Your opinions are valid.

You look out for your own best interests by voting. Everyone, no matter how invested they are in politics, has opinions on how they think the United States should be run, and what policies they think candidates should be advocating. The only way to ensure that your voice is heard is through voting.  If you vote in important elections you help guarantee that the best candidate gets the job. If you choose not to vote you essentially announce that your thoughts and opinions don’t matter and that you don’t care how this country is run. By refusing to vote for the best candidate available, you inadvertently help the opposition get elected. It is impossible to know how this action might impact you in the future, but be sure that it will.  Also know that if you do not at least try to make a difference by voting, you don’t get to complain when someone you don’t like gets elected. It’s as simple as that.

3. There is strength in numbers.

There have been very close elections in the past where the winner has been decided by a mere handful of votes. If any one voter had decided to stay at home on Election Day, there could have been a totally different outcome. A lot of students I know decide not to vote because they figure that their vote won’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but they are underestimating just how powerful the youth vote can be. If everyone who decided not to vote brought themselves to a polling booth during the next election, they would play a large role in deciding the next president.

No matter what your personal feelings towards politics happen to be, voting is important. It is one of the easiest ways you can try to improve the way this country is run, which should be of the utmost importance to everyone who lives here. So go register to vote and make a difference.

Melissa Close is from Waterford, Connecticut. She is majoring in Writing, Literature & Publishing at Emerson College.
Emerson contributor