The importance of voting
As it comes time to vote in the presidential election, many young people do not think they need to. Their vote does not matter, so they are not going to bother. However, this conception is false. Every single person’s vote counts. By understanding how much their vote counts, people can change the course of their government.
First, it is important to understand how voting for the president works. The new president is decided by the Electoral College, in which each state is given a certain amount of electors. For example, Ohio has 18. In total, there are 538 electors and the presidential candidates only needs 270 votes (the majority) to win the election. Most states have a “winner takes all” system. This simply means whichever candidate wins the popular vote in the state gets all of that state’s electoral votes.
Maine and Nebraska are the only exceptions to this system. These states use the Congressional District Method. The winner of each district is awarded one electoral vote, and the winner of the statewide vote is then awarded the state’s remaining two electoral votes. Therefore, more than one presidential candidate can receive a vote from the same state.
A reason it is important to vote is so your voice is heard. Some people are afraid their voice will be lost in the crowd. However, voicing your opinion is so important. Just one voice may not seem like it will so much, but many voices in unison can change everything. According to Alysha Biemolt, a writer for The Borgen Project, in 2008 the Alaskan congressional race was decided by a single vote. That’s right, one person changed the outcome of the election. You never know if that person could be you.
Another reason it is important to vote is it is a right of every American citizen. The right to vote is first found in the 15th Amendment which states, “No citizen is denied the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Furthering the right to vote is found in the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote. The right to vote at 18 was given in the 25th Amendment after soldiers complained that they were old enough to be drafted but not to vote. All of these Amendments protect the right to vote, for everyone no matter their sex, race or ethnic background.
The only way to keep America’s democratic system going is by voting. Everyone needs to vote in order for their thoughts and opinions to be heard. According to a study Sean Mcelwee, a writer for mic.com, conducted, “Turnout among 18- to 24-year-old voters was 12% in 2014.” Also, according to the U.S. Census Bureau only 38% of 18-24 year olds participated in the 2012 presidential election. This shows that the young people of America are not being heard because they are not voting.
The problem with young Americans not voting is the fact that the decisions happening now will affect them later. Young people need to vote so they have a say in their future.