Here’s why I am voting, you should to

Megan Ramsey, Staff Writer

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Every vote counts. If any readers think theirs doesn’t because of the current political climate, they can rest assured: they are not the only ones who have lost hope. After Trump’s election, I lost hope for a good future for the U.S., but I have since regained it because I know when we all come together, we can make change starting with local and state levels. We can’t give up and relinquish the rights we have fought for. Voting is the most effective way to make significant change in the government, especially concerning our current administration.

Voting is a civil right. It’s what keeps this country running — even though aspects of the system like the Electoral College can let us down resulting in at president. Not too long ago, women and African-Americans could not vote. The 15th Amendment, granting African-Americans the right to vote, was ratified only 148 years ago, and they still faced years of disenfranchisement. The 19th Amendment, which granted women voting rights, was ratified 98 years ago. Even more recently, in 1971, the 26th amendment was ratified which gave 18-year-olds the right to vote. The United States has only been a country for 242 years, and most of that time has been spent with only older white males voting. People of color, women and youths fought for the right to vote, so these rights can’t be dismissed as insignificant. We have to take advantage of this privilege to uphold the values of this nation.

Many policies the majority of Republicans are pushing for limit women’s rights to control our own bodies. It is not right to choose a candidate that is not advocating for everyone. Even if one thinks both candidates are bad, there has to be a lesser evil who will be better for the country. Do not let conservatives win by not adding your voice. That is what they would like because if progressives and moderates give up, it’s an easy win for conservatives. Paul Weyrich, a prominent conservative leader in the ‘80s, said he did not want everyone to vote because the conservatives’ gain an advantage in elections with low turnout. When someone doesn’t vote, they are enabling the agendas of people like Weyrich. In a close election, one vote could make a difference – your vote makes a difference.

As a woman, I do not have the luxury to be too lazy to cast my vote. I want a candidate who will bring us closer to equality. I know I can help make a difference by voting and getting other people to vote. The fate of the nation should not be decided by a select few – all voices should be heard and taken into account when leaders are chosen. If someone (no matter their political party) is not voting, they may as well be supporting the other side.

On election day in 2016, I was calling voters in Wisconsin. I talked to many people who didn’t feel like going out to vote or decided against voting because they were confident Hillary would win, so it didn’t matter.

Voting is an obligation for citizens. It’s the only way to assure our leaders are fit for their positions. It is the way to prevent people with platforms you do not agree with from being in office. If you don’t like what you see in our current political climate, where children are being torn away from their parents because they are immigrants (just like the American colonizers were), where the free press is attacked, where women are dogs and Nazis are good people, where foreign dictators are praised, and where Trump wants to return to days where it was justified to physically abuse protestors, you can vote to change it. It is incredibly important to do that. If you do like these things, or the benefits of tax cuts for the wealthy please you more than the reality disturbs you, you can vote to keep it this way at the detriment of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community – you know, the non-white males. The only way to make change is to take action.

Election day is not a day to miss because of laziness. Voting decides who will be making the big legislation for the next few years. There is no good reason for someone to not register or not vote. Eligible voters can register online at before Oct. 9 to vote during Midterms, they can register at the tax assessor-collector’s office, get a voter registration form from government teacher Ronny Risinger or register at the principal’s office. Early voting begins Oct. 22, and election day is Nov. 6.

Election day is not a day to miss because your decision doesn’t just affect you. Vote for the children and teenagers who can’t, because they are also affected by gun laws, abortion laws, LGBTQ-aimed laws and child marriage laws. Vote for the immigrants who can’t and who just want to make a life for themselves in America. I hope you will join me in voting this November.