The Importance of Voting

The Leonore Annenberg Institute states that a government elected by its citizens affects every aspect of our lives, from schools, to health care, to homeland security. Voting is an important right in our society. By voting, you are making your voice heard and registering your opinion on how you think the government should operate.

We live in a time where politics is definitely a topic of conversation at every corner, everything from the sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, to decades ago when in a report to the Human Rights Council, the OHCHR said Libyans and migrants are still being detained in appalling conditions and sold in “open slave markets.” With the country split between two rival governments, no authority is able to stop the rampant human rights abuse.

There is always one action affecting another both nationally and internationally. As young adults this is the time now more than ever to be involved in our country's politics and strive to make a change. According to a CBS news article, 2008 Election Turnout Hit 40-Year High. The year 2018 was a total of 61.6 percent of the nation's eligible voters, the highest turnout rate since 1968, when Republican Richard M. Nixon defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey, said Michael McDonald, a political science professor at George Mason University. Despite this increase in voter turnout, almost 92 million eligible Americans did not vote in the 2016 presidential elections. For the nation’s democracy to function properly and for government to provide fair representation, all eligible Americans must have the opportunity to vote and be encouraged to do so. Our collective self-rule is established and fostered through free, fair, accessible, and secure elections through which the voice of every eligible American is heard.

The American people recognize the importance of voting in our democracy. In a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, 74 percent of respondents ranked election participation as a very important determinant of good citizenship—above paying taxes and following the law. Yet millions of eligible voters are missing from America’s political decision-making process. This may be because of unnecessary barriers in the voter registration and voting process that prevent would-be voters from casting ballots or because potential voters feel alienated from government.

Nationwide, roughly 6 million American citizens are barred from having their voices heard because of antiquated and discriminatory ex-offender disenfranchisement laws. Voter suppression tools, including improper voter purges such as those recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, keep countless eligible Americans from voting each election cycle. When people exercise their power as voters, they can elect local, state, and national leaders who are responsive to and reflective of the communities they serve. So register to vote, be heard! Go vote on November 6! It can be amazing how much your vote impacts the nation, and more importantly, yourself.