This I Believe

Margaret (Maggy) - Saint Petersburg, Florida
Entered on August 14, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Almost everyone in the world agrees that the United States, due to its extent of free speech, is a fortunate nation. One of the biggest perks of being an American citizen is that everyone has the ability to run their country through voting. It is disheartening that so many Americans talk themselves, for whatever reason, into choosing not to vote. Voting is fundamental to the running of a democratic nation, and the lack of voting is an important issue.

It is degrading to our country how lots of our citizens create weak excuses to justify not voting. Some of them say they are poorly informed, as political TV ads only tell you to vote for a certain candidate and not why. Other say their life is too busy to either drive to the polls and vote or to research their candidate. There is really no excuse for not enough time, for voting and being a good citizen is just as important as any job. And finally, there are the people who think that their one vote in millions won’t change anything. Looking at the results of the last two presidential elections, every single vote mattered then, and they will matter in the future.

We all want to be responsible citizens, although few of us relish the idea of picking up strewn trash along highways. The truth is, simply casting a vote is one of the first requirements for a good citizen in a democracy. Also, around the world, many countries are not able to choose their leader. If we have this privilege, we should use it to its maximum potential. If we care about these people with no rights, we need to use our voices to help them.

Some of you reading this may wonder why a 14 year old, who has never voted in a governmental election, is so passionate about this subject. Almost two years ago, I stood in line and watched my mother vote. I understood why she was voting, and how all these people around me were altering the future of the world. But now, the sole reason I want to vote is because I’m unhappy with the way our country is being run, and I want to change that. And by using your voice, you can change it too.