The Importance of Voting

Michael - Newport, North Carolina
Entered on October 24, 2008

On July 4, 1776, a group of thirteen rebellious colonies declared their independence from England. After a long and arduous war, the United States of America came to life. The Founding Fathers disagreed on one issue or another, but they all shared a vision. That vision was a free and democratic country. Over two hundred years later, I, as a United States citizen, still believe that voting is the best way to maintain “we the people’s” nation.

It might seem odd to many that I would write about voting. After all, I am just a sophomore in high school. What does voting have to do with me? For years now I have heard the same question repeated by fellow students. Quite frankly, it has everything to do with me and all who are part of the younger generation. I am who will be inheriting the nation in time. Voting is what will keep my beloved country intact until it is my turn. The decisions of the elected officials today affect the world that I will be living in tomorrow.

Though, even when I get old enough, why would I vote? Why would my vote count? Well, the Constitution, in no uncertain terms, says that everyone’s vote counts. I will be letting my voice be heard in government which is exactly what voting was intended to be used for. It is the people’s voice in government. Through my vote, I will have a say in the future of my country. Through voting itself, the citizens of the United States claim their control over the government. I may be just a student, but in time, I will be able to vote. When that time comes, this middle class engineer hopeful will have the power to make changes of his own and have his voice be heard.

Unfortunately, this power is taken for granted. I have seen many stories on the news regarding the decreasing percentage of people choosing to vote. Every time I hear this news, I wonder what would happen if I did the same. Who would I be letting into office? There are people who would take advantage of the minor voting population. If I gave up my right to vote, and allow such power-hungry people to take control, I would be giving up the rights of every person who followed in my stead. I will protect myself from such people by voting and ensuring that the right people make their way into office.

So why will I vote? Through my vote, I secure the future for the generation of Americans after me, and their votes will secure the future for their following generation. My parents’ votes today, and my vote tomorrow ensure the preservation of a government for the people, by the people. In this, I believe.