Opinion Features

Why You Should Vote

By Trina Stroedecke
Opinion Writer

Voting is the most important way to ensure that a person’s voice is heard, regardless of the issue at hand. Specifically, voting gives a person the chance to voice their beliefs and support the specified cause. Further, it gives the voter an opportunity to take part in a decision making process that may directly affect the lives of citizens across the country. Today, any American citizen aged 18 years or older is entitled to vote in all elections, federal and state; however, this was not always the case. In fact, most of Seton Hall’s population, that is college students, would not have been to vote when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 given it took nearly 217 years for the National Voter Registration Act. As a result of the act’s being passed, several requirements for state polling systems were established, such as voting materials being printed in several languages and making voter registration available in more places so that more people could register to vote. Even more recently, voters can were given the right to vote via mail, which is extremely valuable if an individual is an out-of-state college student.

Voting is a privilege for American citizens and should be taken seriously in the upcoming presidential election. (Photo Courtesy of Boston Globe)

So, why should someone vote? Well, by not voting, a person is passing up the opportunity to voice their opinion and create change within a society. While someone may think that their vote will not make a difference, there would be no voter turnout if enough people thought this way. Furthermore, every vote truly does count. Even if it may not clearly impact larger elections, someone’s vote just might be the turning point for the result of local or state elections given most states use a system under which the prevailing popular vote receives the state’s electoral votes as well. Likewise, a voter is not merely choosing a presidential candidate, rather, they are also voting for the quality of life, the utilization of tax dollars, and the job taxation methodology. Even further, public transportation or school funding may immediately be affected by an election’s results. As an American citizen, it is a a person’s job to support the candidate they believe is the best fit, and voting is the single best way to do that. While voting is a right, it is also one of the American citizen’s freedoms that is not found in all countries globally. No matter what someone supports, they should use their vote as an opportunity to stimulate change.

Besides voting, there are also other ways for people to stay involved in politics. Reading the news or tuning into a local/national news station can help keep an individual updated on all the current political issues. In fact, if you are passionate about a cause, research ways to participate further through volunteering! At the very least, talk to your friends and family given that educating peers about political issues that you are enthusiastic about may help recruit them to vote for the cause. Likewise, some of them may not even fathom the importance of voting, so teaching them about local or state issues so can be quintessential to ensuring that an issue is heard across the broader statewide or national audience. Make the decision for yourself and please go vote!


Contact Trina at stroedka@shu.edu

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