When You Vote, You’re Speaking Up – Generation Justice

What is Democracy? We can go way back to the old days of ancient politics when it meant representatives were chosen for all men, and would have fair chance in voting for what they believed. Now, of course, there’s some differences in Democracy in the United States. Almost everyone can vote, not just men, and it works on a much larger scale.

So what does it mean to Americans? It’s essentially like elections inside other elections. Your vote is cast, and the popular vote among your state will determine if that state is Democratic or Republican, which determines which candidate will win your state. In this way, every single vote matters because Democracy is made up of many different parts.

Photo Credit: Paul Sableman/Flickr

First and foremost, it means that a majority of citizens are eligible members of the voting process, which means that American citizens have a say about who their leaders are. Now, I’m aware that not every person is eligible to vote, but for the people who can vote, it’s an essential civic duty. American citizens have a duty to change the things in their government if they feel there’s something wrong with. That’s the way it works. Voting for things to change may not be in an instant, it can be over many years, but it inspires social change. It creates an environment that lets the people decide what policy makers and policies they need, by voting for them. The American public has a duty to make their voices heard about who they want to lead their counties, cities, states, and even country.

The current election is scary, I’m not going to lie. It’s probably one of the muckiest elections of our time, and a popular voter opinion for the election is to not dirty yourself with it. To not vote. I get it, it’s easier to just not get involved. But what people forget is that voting is the cornerstone to our Democracy, it provides a service to our community. As filmmaker Anne De Mare said in a recent interview with Generation Justice, “we must trust each other,”coming together is a powerful thing, we can come together to vote for the people who will be the best fit for our country, we can come together because citizens hold more power than we think we do.

Voting is all about your voice, and some voices are not heard because there are some pretty strict regulations for voter registration. For New Mexico voters, you must be a U.S. citizen, be 18 years of age by Nov. 8th, you cannot be a convicted criminal, you have to reside in New Mexico, and not have been deemed mentally incapacitated by a court. Some of these things are hard for U.S. residents to accomplish, and this leaves a gap in the amount of votes that will be cast in the election. These results may be skewed because of the lack of votes, which isn’t at the fault of the people who cannot register, but it means that your vote means a lot more than you think. Your vote counts for people who can’t vote, your vote counts for more than yourself, it counts for everyone.

When you vote you’re talking, you’re talking about the things that make a community better in your opinion. A lot of people say that one vote doesn’t matter if you do or don’t cast it, but it means that your one vote is your one voice. Being part of the voting experience is part of your identity as an American, it shows that your opinion matters.

In order to establish a meaningful democracy voting is essential. Voting may not solve every problem in our community, but it will showcase your voice. Generation Justice does a good job of giving power to youth by informing the electorate. It ensures that youth have a background of knowledge to be able to speak up and use their voice effectively. Remember, when you vote, you’re speaking up.