The Importance of Voting

Tuesday November 8, 2016 was the day the world changed. On that day in history, we elected Donald Trump as president of the United States of America -- the most powerful nation in the world. Over 136 million people went to their local polling place and filled out papers that controlled our fate. Now, a year and a half later, many Americans find themselves regretting their decision to vote for Donald Trump and we now find ourselves a target of one of the most dangerous countries in the world -- North Korea.

How did we get here? How is it that we've allowed someone with absolutely no political background to control the country? There is no platform for an argument on his knowledge of the position and the power it holds. It continues to be proven that the Twitter loving figurehead has no clue what he's doing, in any way, shape or form.

Your 18th birthday is considered quite special not only in The United States but around the globe too. But have you ever wondered why 18 is considered the legal age of adulthood? Upon the completion of our gracious eighteen years on this planet, most of my  18-year-old counterparts look forward to the freedom of being able to have late nights out and conduct themselves without the need for parental consent. However, is that ALL it's about?

Across the world, 18 is generally acknowledged as the age of getting rid of your minority status and you are deemed an "adult" even if your mental age is that of a five year old.You are also bestowed with a significant, as well as powerful right to vote which enables you to elect an honest, respectful, able and intelligently strong-willed representative for your country.

Before voting, people should read up on the issues at hand and the prospective candidates. This responsibility of the citizen voter should not be taken lightly as it is your voice, with that of many others, in unison, which will of course have a long lasting impact not only on you but can even change the direction of a community, state, nation, and even the world.

Despite knowing the importance of elections, why are there large numbers of people who chose not to vote? Why do some refuse to participate in elections whilst their elected officials and issues have such strong influence in nearly every aspect of their lives?

Some argue that their vote doesn’t really count. Some say that they're not knowledgeable enough of current events and feel they shouldn't vote in order to avoid choosing the wrong candidate.Then, you have those who are the least bit bothered or concerned about the political happenings in their country yet still find a way to blame the government for all the things that go wrong in their lives.

Others still say that they don’t know where or how to vote or how to register. Changes in voter ID laws may also deter some people from voting. The negligence of people not voting or voting obliviously does adversely affect the country in many ways. By not voting, you're practically allowing your life to be controlled by someone who could honestly care less about you. You're signing away your life.

Ultimately, we all know voting is important. We know that we can't allow these simple minded, inadequate and disrespectful members of congress to control us. This is your life we're talking about -- take control! Remember, the presidential election happens every four years. But elections for other positions (including local, state, congress and senate) happen EVERY YEAR. The president is literally just a figurehead controlled by members of congress and the senate. If we can elect strong, intelligent and thoughtful people into these positions, we can create a country incomparable to the rest. A country where we don't have to fear being killed by police or a country where it won't cost upwards of $20k for life saving prescriptions. Read up on your local congress members, see who's up for re-election and see who deserves a chance to show that they can make a difference. Election day this year is Tuesday November 6th -- let's get out to these polling places and really make the change.

 - Vanshika M.