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Find Strength In The Voice You Have

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In the Bill of Rights, the 26th Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.”

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Voting is a right; however, only in a democracy is this true. America has been a democracy for several decades now, which has allowed for us to thrive as a nation overall. Every four years, we vote for our president. By the age of 18, American citizens are eligible to vote according to United States rights. As a 17-year-old high school junior, I eagerly await for that opportunity to have the right to vote for whomever I recognize to be eligible to lead our country towards a greater future. As a teenager, one does not have the ability to vote; however, once I am no longer a minor, I plan to do everything in my power to guide my country towards a better future than the one we have today. I will gain the ability to vote for presidents, vote for senators, vote for governors, vote for mayors and many more individuals such as these. These individuals have the ability to change the world we live in and so do I. It is common as a young adult at a high school level to not care much for politics since we do not become involved until we hit our senior year of high school. Until we hit 18, we do not have much of a say as to what happens in America. Many come to realize that voting does not truly affect our lives, but; on the contrary, it does. Every time that our parents vote, those decisions affect how life is played out in America. Choosing one president over another can change the steps we take towards a new future for America, whether it be prosperous or not.

Many choose to vote, however, many choose not to vote. Why is this? It is simple to register, so why do many Americans choose not to? Many young adults choose not to vote due to certain issues not concerning them, such as Medicare. Others simply believe that one measly vote does not matter, but what these individuals don’t realize is that it does matter. Simply put it, votes add up. According to United States Census Bureau, the number of age-appropriate individuals have decreased throughout the years. “In 2008, 63.6 percent” of American citizens voted. “In 2012, 61.8 percent” of American citizens voted. “In 2016, 61.4 percent” of American citizens voted. As you can see, voting continues to decrease as the years go by. Without votes, we become a dictatorship. We no longer would follow the idea of casting our votes; therefore, our fates would be decided for us. We, as American citizens, would no longer have a say in what happens in America if more citizens decide that voting is unnecessary. I say that our opinions matter because those opinions are exactly what makes America so great. As we take our first vote at the poll, we take our first steps to becoming an active citizen. Voting can be done on a political level; however, voting can also be done on levels that aren’t political. For example, school events. Each year, in High School, we get a small portion of what a democracy is like. We vote for Presidents and Vice Presidents for each grade level that we believe best represents our school. Getting the chance to vote in high school allows for us to be part of that world where you are no longer a minor. We gain that opportunity to form our own democracy allowing for the understanding of what our government provides to its citizens.

Voting gives us a say. Voting gives us a choice. Voting gives us a chance, a chance to make that decision as to who is best fit to lead such a thriving country as America. Not only does my vote matter, but everyone’s vote matters. Each and everyone of us is capable of having a say as to what our country offers. We all have that decision to make as soon as we hit 18. Do we vote or do we not vote? I say we vote. Cast your vote to make a difference in the world around you. Remember to find strength in the voice you have.

11 February 2020

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