Lessons From This Election: Your Vote Matters
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Politics and Activism

Lessons From This Election: Your Vote Matters

By choosing not to vote, I was also choosing not to have my opinion heard.

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Lessons From This Election: Your Vote Matters
The Atlantic

As the results from this election have concluded and America begins coming to terms with the results, I believe there is one feeling many Americans are currently coping with, and that is disappointment. Disappointment in the outcome. Disappointment in the way many Americans are treating each other over the results. Disappointment that our country has allowed such a vicious cycle of bullying, name-calling and scandal to take place between our two candidates for the highest position in the free world. But also, many are feeling disappointed in their decision not to vote at all.

Unfortunately, I know this feeling all too well. I disagreed with far too many of both candidates policies and rhetoric and was torn between voting for the third party, writing in or just not voting at all. When it came time to register for the first election I would ever be able to participate in, I chose not to. This decision was not a big deal to me until November 9, the day after the election. It was then that I realized the mistake I had made by choosing not to fulfill my civic duty.

As I went into classes and heard my fellow students discuss the results, how the race was such a close call and how if only voter turn-out would have been a little bit higher, I felt angry at myself for not voting. What if I had gotten to the voting booth and had an epiphany as to who I should vote for? What if my vote was the one vote needed to change the outcome of my county or states results? Because I chose to think that my vote did not matter, I failed to do my civic duty, just as many other citizens did on November 8.

The issue with this mindset of thinking my one vote is not important is that, if everyone picked up the same idea I had, then no one would vote at all. One of the greatest things about America is that we are a democracy in which citizens can help make changes and actively participate in their government, and by choosing not to vote, I took this for granted.

By choosing not to vote, I was also choosing not to have my opinion heard. As we sat in class discussing the election, I felt uncomfortable expressing my opinion. Why? Because if I didn't care enough to vote in the election, why should people have to listen to my opinion on its result?

The next four years of our country are foreshadowed with anger, protest and uncertainty. I certainly hope for the best in this great nation. However, next election, I will not stand by and not have my voice left unheard, and neither should you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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