Why I Am Happy That I Registered To Vote
Start writing a post

Why I Am Happy That I Registered To Vote

This election could not suck more, but now I have the power to make it suck less.

Why I Am Happy That I Registered To Vote

I grew up only remembering two presidents who served two times. I remember going to one of the local schools with my dad, on a random November holiday, following him to a booth, and looking up at him as he did something with a piece of paper. He told me he was voting, I asked who he was voting for, and he said that he didn't have to tell me.

During those elections, I also remembered watching the news of people supporting one candidate over the other, an "R" or "D" in parentheses next to that supporter's name, and I definitely remember very mean commercials from one candidate to another. I even watched my parents take sides, and of course, that influenced me.

I always thought that I knew who I would vote for — usually I knew because my parents knew, or I would get confused if they knew they wanted different candidates in office. I just looked at politics. I didn't actually pay attention.

When Barack Obama won his first election, and my sixth grade class watched him get inaugurated, my teacher said we made history. I just saw a different President who wasn't Bush. I didn't know how powerful being voted in was.

Then I went on to learn more about government in high school, and watched an election as a sophomore. I took a test for my government and politics class, and it had come to the conclusion that I was a right-leaning moderate ...That confused me. I wanted President Obama to win again, but I was a republican? Clearly, I really only learned about the political side I inhabited and not the moral side I stood on. As I was made to pay attention to ads and news, I started to see stereotypes of political stances, not seeing any overlap of views.

Here I was, tests saying I was republican ... but I believed in the right to choose and other socially liberal topics. So if I registered to vote as a republican, did that mean I had to share the same ideologies? Also even though I was socially liberal, the democrats didn't look that smart either, and I didn't want to register with a party I didn't politically agree with.

As I learned more about political ideologies, I realized something.

I hated politicians. Really, I did. I watched men and women so obsessed with getting reelected that I didn't know what they would actually do if they had the chance to be in power again.

Macbeth's "absolute power corrupts absolutely" rang in my brain. I wanted nothing to do with parties ... I wanted nothing to do with voting, especially when this cluster heap of an election started. I had no idea who to vote for, and when I tried to support one candidate, I would be ridiculed on my stance by someone who supported another.

Despite me being old enough to vote, I didn't want to vote for the presidency of 2016. I really didn't. I wasn't really into fighting with people on every ideal I had.

However, my mind was changed when I moved back home the summer after freshmen year. My parents had two things on my agenda for my break: change banks and register to vote. When two months went by and they reminded me to register, I just didn't care. What good could come out of my one little vote when there are other people, higher up people, voting for me? Also, still, I didn't want to defend myself over a decision I made.

Until this week, I had no idea how powerful voting could be. My mother dragged me out of bed, we switched banks (finally), and we ventured to town hall, so I could register.

We were the only ones in the office, being helped by a sweet older lady who gave me my form and explained how to fill it out. Despite wishing to check off the box next to Republican, I stuck to being independent. I had my views going both ways, and in a world of deepening stereotypes, I had no wish to be pigeon holed with only certain ideals.

When I handed the women my form, she ... congratulated me, explaining how she wished she could see more young people come in and do what I just did. My mother and her started having a conversation about how when they were young and just thought of as a wife meant to make babies. The woman told me that when she was younger, she was asking about a big vote coming up ... a man laughed and explained that her husband would vote for her. She apparently almost attacked him.

My mother went on to reexplain how people have died for the right to vote. Americans, at one point, died for the right to vote. And here I was, one of the only young adults this sweet, office worker had seen all summer ... and I wasn't even excited.

How stupid I was ... I took voting for granted ... I took it as a privilege. Many years ago, I would be praying for this right, and there were women who fought and gave me this right. It was a right to vote. It is an honor to vote even in a crazy election like this one.

In my lifetime, I have seen a black man earn the presidency after others fought for his right to run. And I now see a woman with the Democratic seat ... something that wasn't possible - and no this is not me saying I am voting for Hilary. My father was right — I don't need to tell you who I voted for and hope you understand. I am not changing your views. And you are not changing mine. But while you are not registered, yelling at me at how your candidate will win, what are you doing about it? I am staying quiet, with the right to help my candidate win. I have voice now that can make waves, while others are just splashing their arms. Who's doing more for their future?

I would like to say thank you to all the women who have allowed me the peace and security of having the power to change the world, one ballot at a time.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments