COLUMN: Every Vote Counts

By LIKHITA MANCHIKANTI, Contributing Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (SCPDA) The United States of America represents freedom and unity. Here in the United States, we can speak out for what we believe in without retribution because of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Our right to free speech is exercised when we vote, seeing as we voice our beliefs through the person we vote for. Despite the fact that our Founding Fathers explicitly gave us this right, a sizeable amount of Americans trivialize it by refusing to vote.

It’s now 2016, which means that the presidential election is coming up. On Nov. 8, Americans will begin to vote. In the United States, we are given the right to vote for our leaders, but many people do not take advantage of this privilege. Whether these Americans choose not to vote because they don’t like the candidates or they believe their vote won’t make a difference, the right to vote is a right that deserves more respect.

Some Americans can think of a multitude of excuses for why they opt out of voting: they don’t like the candidates, they don’t think their vote will make a difference or they just don’t care. However, voting for a candidate that isn’t fully appealing is better than not voting at all. In addition to that, even though it may seem like one person’s vote doesn’t matter when it comes to the whole election, every vote counts. Electing public officials is a privilege we should take advantage of.

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No matter what someone’s reason is as to why he or she chose not to vote, all of us have a voice that deserves to be heard. Our values should be represented by the people representing us. If you voted in an election and the person you vote for didn’t win, at least you voiced your beliefs by voting. Also, at least you were able to vote in the first place. Some countries don’t have as big of a voting-friendly atmosphere as we do. For example, the first election Saudi women could vote in was last year. It is circumstances like this that make the right to vote in America seem more like a privilege than a right.

The right to vote is so powerful because it trusts the will of the American people to make sensible decisions for our country. We Americans need to give the right to vote more respect. African Americans and suffragettes worked so hard in our nation’s past to be guaranteed the right to vote because they knew how valuable the right is. As we can see by the efforts of these groups, voting is a privilege that should be taken advantage of because it is important to be represented by those leading your country.

Voting gives one a voice. It allows one to have a say in the decisions being made by the government, even though he or she isn’t making the decisions themselves. Voting is such an important element of our lives because it determines how our country is run. By voting, we are able to exercise our right to free speech, which is a freedom that is quite valuable to the people in this country. When the time comes to vote for the president in the general election, Americans should be aware of how valuable their right to vote is, because the right to vote is a power that can change the fate of the nation.

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