Your Voice, Your Vote
November 8, 2018
Voting is vital to democracy. Without voting in the U.S., who knows would be elected? During the vital 2016 Presidential elections, only 58% of eligible young people (from ages 18-29 years old) voted and according to PBS, this was the highest percentage in an election in the modern era. This is a problem, because everyone should have an opinion about politics, and a way to get one’s voice heard is through voting for the candidates one supports.
One common reason why people do not vote, is the conception that their vote will be drowned out by the millions of other voters. This statement is true to a point. A single vote may not seem to matter, but when thousands of similarly opinionated people’s votes add up it does matter.
“If people do not vote then it really puts in the question of the legitimacy of our government,” said AP Government teacher, Ms. Healy.
Voting is a key component to democracy because it allows citizens to tell politicians and the government what the people want. Also, if hundreds of thousands of similarly opinionated people do not vote, then it is guaranteed that the candidate they were supporting will not get elected. An example, of the closeness in elections was during the 2000 presidential election. Florida’s vital 23 electoral seats during election decided by only 500 people (2,912,760 for George W. Bush and 2,912,253 for Albert Gore).
Though the Presidential elections may seem to be the most important election cycle, the Congressional Midterm elections, are also very important, but it is one of the least voted election cycles. In 2014, only 16% of young people voted in the midterms, and throughout US history, the highest young voter turnout was only 21% in 1998 according the Washington Post.
The Congressional Midterms are one of the most important elections because voters elect 1/3 of all senators and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives. These elections can change the majority of the House of Representatives and Senate. If a party gains majority of Congress, then they can easily pass new legislation, gain veto power over new bills, and hold subpoena power.
Overall it is important to vote in all elections, as according the AP Government teacher Ms. Slack, “Voting is a powerful tool to send to elected officials, so if you vote, elected officials are going to listen to you more.”