Just please vote

Just+please+vote

Tegan Johnson

 

If you haven’t heard already, it’s midterm season!

Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you how to vote in the upcoming elections. I’m not going to talk about the candidates running or the initiatives on the ballot this cycle. I’m not going to explain what’s at stake in Washington D.C. or what the effects of certain appointments will mean in the future.

Instead, I’m just going to beg you to vote. Vote any way you want. Vote for this man, for that woman, for this initiative, for that measure — but please, just vote.

When we think that something should be done, and we don’t do it, there is a piece of blame placed on us.

If we contribute to a cause, and nothing changes, we tried our best; if we don’t do anything, we are left with the guilt that maybe our actions could have changed the outcome of an event.

We should remember this during election season.

We should also remember that our right to vote has not always been guaranteed. It wasn’t until the Fifteenth Amendment, passed in 1870, that African-American men were granted the right to vote. It hasn’t even been 100 years since the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, protecting citizens from being prevented to vote based on their gender.

In addition, it was only in 1924 that Native Americans were finally granted U.S. citizenship, giving them the right to vote. Still, those amendments didn’t remove the barriers for voting that people of color and women faced in the forms of literacy tests, poll taxes and fear tactics.

Although these aren’t as common anymore, other barriers such as lack of proper identification and mysteriously not being listed on the voter roll has taken their place, as reported by the Atlantic.

Voting is a right we are now legally guaranteed, despite attempted barriers, but it is also a duty.

It is our duty to vote for the people and measures we believe will best serve our country. We have a responsibility to elect the people into office we deem to be the most beneficial to our country.

The United States Elections Project found that only about 60 percent of the eligible voter population participated in the 2016 election.

Our votes matter. With only a 60 percent turnout, the last 40 percent of eligible voters could have potentially changed the outcome of our last election. We have the opportunity to pick which candidates we want to represent our beliefs, and we can choose which laws are put into place.

This November allows us to make these choices, and if you are eligible and registered to vote, there is no excuse not to use your power to change our country.

If you don’t vote for who or what you believe in, who will?

Don’t assume that other people will vote for a cause you believe in. If your preferences don’t win, you have no one to blame but yourself.

If you want something to get done, it’s your job to do something about it. Research what’s on the ballot this election.

Vote the way you believe will best serve America. Send in your ballot or go to the polling stations on Nov. 6.

Just please, vote!