Monday, 12/11/2018 | 10:18 UTC-5
The Witness Newspaper

Like Your Voice, Your Vote Matters

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It is important to realize that we are, in fact, born with certain unalienable rights in the United States of America. We are given the opportunity to voice our opinions loud and proud; we are given the right to own firearms; we are given the right to walk freely and not be held as slaves, and slowly but surely… every American citizen was given the right to vote in every, single American election.

The right to vote came about after long battles between white males and, well, everyone else who did not fall under this category. It started with men of property being able to vote, and then men of color being able to vote, and then women as a whole. For the entire history of America, the odds have always been stacked against those who were not at the top of the food chain.

However, the battle for suffrage was not automatically over when these marginalized groups were given the right to vote.

Not all of America was on board when people of color were given the right to vote. Loopholes were found, and there were things such as polling taxes and tests that would determine whether or not they would be able to vote. These things made it difficult for groups to go out and voice their opinions.

The goal of giving citizens the right to vote was to give American citizens a chance to be active in their government. So that when they came together and elected politicians into Congress, they were able to see the country remain a place they were proud to call ‘home’. When citizens go to cast their vote, they are able to pick the people they believe will represent them and change what they would like to see changed.

For the youth, this upcoming election will impact them incredibly as this is the beginning of their chance to create a country they can always be proud of. Every young adult in this country has something they are passionate about – something that sets their soul on fire – and that should be what motivates them to take their voices and use them to make their votes. In order for the youth to see change and to create a better tomorrow, they have to have representatives who will fight on their behalf and discuss things that will impact their future.

So…why vote? If it is not because so many have fought for you to get here, or the fact that it is your civic duty, then do it for you. Do it for what you are passionate about and for what you want to see changed in the world around you. You and your friends can be on the front lines fighting for what is right by marching, protesting, writing letters, but the simplest, and perhaps most powerful thing you can do, is take that passion to the polls. When you cast your vote, you are letting your voice be heard. You are speaking for those younger than you as well as those yet to enter this world.

In November, when you find yourself wondering if it is even worth it to get up and vote, remember how important your voice is. Remember all the change you want to see happen. Remember that you are in control of the future. Remember that the generation below you is counting on you to make that difference so that they may have a better and safer tomorrow.

Your voice matters. See you at the polls.

Karmiela White
About

Karmiela is a freshman majoring in Communication Arts and Political Science and minoring in Peace Studies.

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