Cast your vote

Greta Markey, Managing Editor

We are lucky enough to live in a country that allows its citizens to elect its leaders. Voting is a right that Americans have advocated and fought for through the American Revolution, the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement; however, many people today abstain from voting for reasons that include a busy schedule, forgetting to register and believing that their vote will not affect the outcome of the election.

As high-schoolers, voting is an integral part of enacting the change we want to see in our country. If you turn 18 by the next general election, you are eligible to register to vote, and should exercise your voice in the upcoming local and national elections.

One thing that’s important to note is that when you vote, you’re not just voting for the “big” positions– President, Governor, Senator– you are also voting for “everything down to [the] dog catcher,” as Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics Larry Sabato puts it. Important referenda, such as legalizing recreational marijuana, can also appear on your ballot. Your vote impacts much more than the names you see in the news.

Additionally, your vote serves to more accurately represent the American population. A lot of time, high supported progressive congressional action is not represented in election results because its supporters do not show up when it matters most: to vote.

If an increasing number of high-schoolers, low income citizens and minorities use their voice via the polls in upcoming elections, the government will have no choice but to listen and to act.

The theme of the 2018 Women’s March was “March to the Polls” for a reason. Your voice does have an impact on the outcomes of national and, even more importantly, local elections. Becoming involved in the voting process now is important because it sets the trajectory for your voting practices in the future, as well as impacts who will be running our country.

Don’t forget to register, don’t forget to research the candidates and don’t forget to vote.