February 28, 2024

When the United States acquired its independence from Great Britain in 1783, our forefathers sought to make the people of this country responsible for the consequences of their actions, and become completely involved in deciding who was elected to the government. We were granted life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

But what are we doing with this liberty? Some are simply not being responsible voters and are not participating in the elections of our future leaders.

We want to see a difference, and yet there is not enough cooperation from individuals.

The rule of law states that everyone must follow the law, and if we want to decide what the law is, people must participate in the elections. It is not only a privilege, but a right.

Take a second to think about the number of people who cannot vote. Some are too young to do so and are anxiously waiting to turn 18 years old to participate in the next elections. Others are in the process of becoming citizens, or are in prison or mentally incompetent.

They are the only ones that should be excused from voting. In a world where most students are not very
informed about politics, it is often easier to claim that since the average student knows nothing about the candidates, there’s no reason for him or her to vote. But this needs to stop.

As educated individuals and residents of this country, it is our responsibility to take time out of our busy lives and read about the candidates and the propositions that will affect us all.

It is no longer an excuse that politics are not “our thing,” because when the time comes and we see the consequences of not voting, then it will most certainly be “our thing.”

We need to vote for our future, for the change that we wish to see in our neighborhoods, cities, counties, states and country over all.

The phrase “our vote counts” should not simply be a cliché, it should be our reality.

If you don’t vote because you are not currently home, where you are registered to vote and would like your vote to count, all you need to do is request an absentee ballot.

So the next time you turn on the television to sit back and relax, take the time to think about how else you can be spending your free time. As hard as it is to believe, we all have a couple minutes or even seconds to spare and register to vote.

Now, with the opportunity to register to vote online, what else can we ask for? The ballot can be mailed to us and we don’t even need to drive anywhere or make any extra efforts, yet we continue to make excuses.

Still stuck with the idea that your vote will make no difference? Well, think twice. In this next election, it is not only the presidency that is being voted on. There are positions for the U.S. Congress and state legislatures up for grabs.

These changes, along with 11 propositions on the California ballot, are at stake. It is your time to make a difference, take this opportunity by the hand and register to vote. If you are an eligible voter, stop making excuses and start thinking about your future, unless you plan to move to another country.

However, voting without reading what each candidate has to offer or what each of the propositions will do is not being a responsible voter. Stating that you belong to a certain party and, therefore, are obliged to vote for the candidate that belongs to that party is also not being responsible. Take the time to read about each one, because only then will you be able to make a wise decision about who to vote for.

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