I think everyone has seen the news after elections take place, even big ones, and the amount of people who actually vote is minimal. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, only 58.1% of our US population actually voted in the last election (the 2016 presidential election).
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This number isn’t better than the 2012 elections, but it’s also not worse. Somehow, it’s stayed relatively stable. The actual voter turnout is still much lower than it should be. In fact, it’s 41.9% lower than it should be.
There were years in the 1800s when around 80% of the population voted. What’s happened since then?
I believe it’s a mixture of not wanting to go through the trouble to register & find a place to vote, and more so, feeling like you won’t make a difference.
I’d like to talk to the people who chose to sit the last election out, and try to understand why they think this. If even half of those people changed their mindset, the political outcome could’ve been drastically different than it is now. Maybe not, but it could have been. Either way, their one vote could’ve been enough to make a difference.
These people also need to realize that by not voting, they’re still changing the political landscape for the next four years. They could’ve been the driving force behind stopping a president from being elected, in any election, but instead their absence could’ve been the reason that candidate was elected.
Not only should we vote as United States citizens, but it’s our duty to do so. We all, in some way or another, reap the benefits of living in this great nation. In order to keep our nation as great as it is, we need to support it. Think of your citizenship here as a relationship. If you want it to continue being healthy and strong, both sides must put in effort. Not just one.
We need to realize how many blessings and freedoms we’ve been given in this country that we wouldn’t have in many other countries. If we don’t show our support for that, it could slowly slip away from us until we don’t have it at all.
So, my fellow citizens of the United States, next time you think registering to vote is too much work or not worth it, remember this article. Remember what impact you’ll be making if you choose not to vote, because there will be one.
My name is Amanda Rossol. I'm 21 years old and majoring in Spanish and Secondary Education, with a minor in English. I'm currently heading into my internship year, where I'm placed in a high-school, Spanish classroom. Something interesting about me is that I LOVE country music!