Thomas Jefferson

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Make Your Voice Heard

Posted 05/23/2018 by Baxter Stein

Students take an active role in encouraging voter participation. photo Baxter Stein

It’s easy to think your vote doesn’t matter in today’s world. There are millions of people who show up to the polls, so how can your single vote make a difference? The truth is that voting could not be a more vital undertaking. The bottom line is that if everyone who dismissed their vote as useless actually voted, it could drastically change the outcome of elections.

With so few people caring enough to vote in the America, our democracy is easily undermined. For the three decades, voters have been older, more partisan, and disproportionately wealthy. This imbalance brings a slew of problems for those who don’t vote, which affects them directly. A widening wealth gap is perfect example of this; without the votes of those who aren’t wealthy, opportunities for young people shrink and those very same people who refused to vote slink further into poverty. It’s a brutal cycle, and it allows the wealthy to simply become more wealthy.

The United States has a representative democracy because it’s the most efficient way to take every citizen’s point of view into consideration in the modern world. But one who does not vote revokes their right to an opinion. Even if an opposing political party has an overwhelming majority, it’s still essential to cast a vote. It’s important that everyone’s voices are heard, but because voting is a voluntary action, this is entirely a mindset issue. People who don’t vote because their vote “doesn’t matter” are so numerous that they have far larger a stake in politics than they believe. The only reason they don’t have influence in the government is because they choose not to.

So what can you do to make a difference? Register to vote. People 16 and older are eligible to register, and it’s a simple process. A quick form is all that needs to be completed, and can be submitted online here for registration in Colorado. Voting is the most obvious way to contribute towards politics, but it’s not the only way. Being active in local politics is crucial. Encouraging others to vote is of paramount importance, as is conversing with people who disagree with you. Civilized conversation is the foundation upon which progress occurs, so it’s in the nation’s best interest to work as a collective to dispel the vitriol that poisons our interactions.

Ultimately, there’s too much at stake to forfeit your vote. The burden of change rests upon everyone’s shoulders, if they choose to wield it. Make the choice to make a difference for yourself, if not for the sake of our democracy.