Having moved to Akron, Ohio from Australia, I have always wondered why voting, by many, is considered unimportant in the United States. Being born and raised in a country that enforces mandatory voting, I consider voting a necessity in the decisions of the future. The excuse I hear most often from peers is that “my vote won’t matter.” I understand that technically one individual vote will not make a difference – but, collectively, it will have a huge effect. That is if you pay attention and hold strong your beliefs, values, and attitudes as an individual.
As students, we are the future and our opinions matter. So many of us are ignorant, scared or sensitive when it comes to politics. Why? Politics exist to better help our changing needs. We hold politics in this country to such a high standing that we think it is out of our reach and forget that voting is a right given to us by the Founding Fathers. The first three words of the constitution state “We the people…” – words that over time have become meaningless to our society. What we don’t understand is that we are the people of today. Who is elected affects us directly, whether on a local, state or federal level.
If you are angry with the potholes on your street, that is your city council’s job. If you believe that the minimum wage should be raised, you have a say on which representative with the same ideology will fight for that issue. So the next time you are unhappy with a state, local or federal issue remember that is the representation of someone else’s opinion and not your own, because you neglected to voice yours.