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Path to the Presidency: Why is it important to vote?

Every year, many students like you turn 18 and cast their first ballot on Election Day, fulfilling the most basic action in a democratic society. Voting is a fundamental process that keeps our system of government working. Through elections, citizens have the ability to decide on who represents them in government, be it a local official, a state or national representative, or the president.

On Election Day, voters will not only be able to select their representatives in government for the next term, but they also often have the ability to decide on measures like bond issues that grant the government permission to borrow money for construction projects and other developments. And sometimes voters cast their ballots on social issues such as allowing same-sex marriage or banning smoking in restaurants and bars.

Reading up on the issues, the candidates, and researching the ballot is also the responsibility of the citizen voter and a responsibility that should not be taken lightly, because it is your voice, with the many others, in unison, that can change the direction of a community, state, nation, and even the world.

Given the importance of elections in the United States, why would do so many people choose not to vote? Why do some refuse to participate in elections when the officials and issues voted on have such strong influence on nearly every aspect of their lives?

Many argue that their vote really doesn’t count. Some say that they don’t know enough about the issues and think they shouldn’t vote. Others still say that they do not know where or how to vote or how to register. News stories about voter ID laws may deter some people from voting.

What do you think of these reasons and how would you respond to family or friends that used them? With a government elected by its citizens and that effects every aspect of our lives from schools to health care to homeland security, voting is an important right in our society. By voting, you are making your voice heard and registering your opinion on how you think the government should operate. Enough voices in unison can elect someone to office, reaffirm or even change the course of our government.

Most candidates also have websites that detail their ideas and goals for the office. To find out where to vote, you can contact your local board of elections and they will tell you where to go to vote.

What do you think?
 
Why is it important to vote? What would you say to your peers or family members to convince them to vote? Do you think you would be interested in volunteering at your local precinct? Have you already voted in an election? If so, what was your experience like? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
4/30/2014
up faizabad
akhil
ups
voters will not only be able to select their representatives in government for the next term, but they also often have the ability to decide on measures like bond issues that grant the government permission to borrow money for construction projects and other developments. And sometimes voters cast their ballots on social issues such as allowing same-sex marriage or banning smoking in restaurants and bars.

3/11/2014
Free State Welkom in Thabong
Mokgethi lerato shearly
Teto High School
In ma school we create and promote a culture of respect, good manners and high level of moral behaviour amongst learnersas well as between learners and member of the staff.We always have a good time with our teachers and we like the way our principal deal with thing's....And we also like her...

2/12/2014
Memphis Tennessee
Markyiah
Ms.Billy
Voting is cool.

1/26/2014
usa
muhammad
ms. martin
voting is awesome

11/26/2013
Ontario
Kaka
Miss Pipi
Parce que c'est la loi démocratique

2/6/2013
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Matt
Central Dauphin High School
I believe that it is very important to vote because then we know what the country wants by getting a more accurate count and our country needs to make sure that we get the right person in office.

1/4/2013
Belleville/ New York
NATHAN
Miss. Colby/Bellellive Henderson
I think that it is important to vote because it helps get your voice out and who you want into office.

1/1/2013
Montgomery/Texas
Hunter B.
Metzger/Montgomery
Democracy is a huge part of our nation. It is all based off of our votes. It has to remain that way.

12/9/2012
CA
Yovana
Monache High School
It is important to vote because it is part of democracy. Our founding fathers fought for the right to vote rather than to just have virtual representation. I would tell peers and family member that it is not just their future that is at stake when voting but their children's as well. Much of what we vote for the government to do influences the role that our government will take. I would be interested in volunteering in a local precinct. I have not voted yet.

12/9/2012
California
Melissa
Monache
Honestly, it's frustrating to see so many individuals who have the privilege to vote not vote and then complain about how the government isn't satisfying them. If you want to see a change or elect someone into office that you feel should be there then vote!

12/8/2012
Montgomery, Tx.
Savannah
Metzger
I feel that a lot of the reason that most people dont vote is due to the media mainly focusing on two opposite parties (Democrat and Republican) on when neither one satisfies on the majority of citizens.

12/7/2012
benson/AZ
dakota
sorenson/benson
I think is important because we are part of america.

11/28/2012
charlottsville,va
michael
bailey/mhs
It is important to vote due to every one has a saying in our government.In other words if people vote we say what goes on in our country's streets,goverment, and laws

11/27/2012
Porterville, CA
Weston
Smith/MHS
It is important to vote to ensure that the majority really does rule. So many people don't vote that many laws are passed supposedly representing the American people, but really don't. I would not be interested in volunteering at my local precinct. I have not voted in a local election.

11/26/2012
Irving/Tx
Jennifer T.
Bradley/Nimitz
Voting allows you to "directly" impact government by choosing our nation's leader. We vote for the candidate that we want to see in office, so it reflects our political thoughts, values, and beliefs. We would not be a democracy if citizens were not allowed to vote. If you are given the right and opportunity to vote why not? It is easy and simple. If you don't speak up for what you believe, you won't get what you want.

11/16/2012
Irving/Texas
Lily
Bradley/Nimitz
To be a citizen of this country we have certain rights and privileges. We also have certain responsibilities to be active in positive change. We all contribute to society, either in a positive way or a negative way. That's why it's important to vote because it's the first step of involvement and interaction with our government. If we didn't vote people wouldn't take us seriously, and we would have no right to complain about how our government's being run. Someone else would make decisions for us, and we'd have no voice against them. Your vote is your voice in government. To convince my peers and family members to vote, I would explain the importance of doing so. I'd do my best to get my point across to them clearly, and understandably. I would be interested in volunteering at my local precinct just to experience the voting process considering I’m not old enough to vote. It'd prepare me for when I can actually participate in my government's decisions.

11/16/2012
Belleville/NY
Kristia
Miss Colby/BHCS
It is extremely important to vote. Without voting one can't have their opinion shown. The vote is a way to show that you care for this country and want to see new ideas come foward for the future.

11/16/2012
Henderson/NY
Peter
Miss Colby/Belleville Henderson Central School
It is important to vote because it shows who is more qualified to be a president.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Tatevik
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
It is important to vote because you are giving your opinion. It is your dedication to your government. By voting you are showing your interest to the future of your country.

11/15/2012
Watertown / MA
Diora
Rimas
Voting is important because it gives everyone the chance to speak out and choose the right person for the presidency.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Norah
Rimas/Watertown
Because who gets elected affects your future so you need to vote!

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Alec
Mr. Rimas
It's important to vote because while the President doesn't have complete power over what happens in the government he plays a a major part in it and will act according to where he personally stands.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Rose
Rimas/Watertown
It's important because it's your future your voting towards and this gives you an opportunity to speak your opinion.

11/15/2012
Watertown/ MA
Wilson J
Mr. Rimas
It's important because if you didn't Mitt Romney could have become our president.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Jadzia
Rimas/Watertown
Voting is your way of expressing your opinions on issues you would not normally have an opportunity to. This opportunity only happens once a year and it is your way of telling the people who have power what you want to happen. This year had a very high turn out of voters but this should be the turn out every year. Although some people think they should only vote in elections every four years they should really vote every year. As many point out, people in other counties fight for this right and we have it every year. There are many resources to help one learn about the issues so that should certainly not be used as an excuse to not vote. Even though I desperately wanted to vote this election year, I was a year off.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Romana
Mr. Rimas/ Watertown High School
I think its good to vote because of voting we might choose the right person so that person might save our country from bad things that happening........

11/15/2012
Watertown/ MA
Ariana S
Mr. Rimas
It's important to vote so you have a say in who you want running the country. If you vote it shows that you have a stand in the world- and if you don't vote then you shouldn't be allowed to go against who ever wins since you didn't do your duty as a citizen and vote.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Ayush
Mr.Rimas/Watertown High School
It is important to vote because because we can choose the person who is good to run the government and it is our right to vote

11/15/2012
Watertown / ma
Michael T.
mr.rimas/watertown high school
I think its important to vote because it helps choose the right person for the job they choose and its the right thing to help our citizenship

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Barry
John Rimas/Watertown High
It is important to vote for many reasons. First of all it is very easy and doesn't require much work. Secondly, you should want to know who will be the next president or town council member will be etc. The only way to cast you're voice on the matter is to vote for who you believe is best fit for the job. The best thing you can do for your country is to vote for who you feel can do the best job. If you dont vote, you are not using youre voice properly. Go out and vote, its easy and the right thing to do!

11/15/2012
Watertown, MA
Anas
Mr. Rimas/Watertown High School
The leader of the United States of America, otherwise known as Mr. President, is elected by the public as voters choose who they think would do a better job at leading our fine country. America is a democracy and therefore the importance of political awareness and voting is stressed even more. Without voting, the results of who our country thinks should lead us will be flawed and thus might yield a person the majority of the public does not agree with. The more people who vote, the less underrepresented our public we will be and the power the people will have, which is an ideal our Founding Fathers fought for.

11/15/2012
Watertown/MA
Stephanie
Rimas/Watertown
Voting allows us the rare opportunity to decide the future of our government on the municipal, state, and federal levels. It may seem like our vote often doesn't count, especially in cases where one candidate is strongly favored over another. However, there have been many instances where the candidate has won by a very small margin, such as the 1974 New Hampshire senate race. Every vote counts. I voted for the first time this year. I enjoyed exercising my right to vote and would volunteer at my local precinct in the future.

11/13/2012
Irving/Texas
Linda
Bradley/Nimitz
I think it is important to vote because it allows you be a part of the voice of America. The purpose of the people voting for their candidate is to see what “America” wants. But what if less and less people voted? People usually choose the candidate that would most likely help them. So why should you let other people choose what you want? Maybe what they choose is not what you want but you would have to deal with it because you didn't take action and voted. I am still not capable of voting because of age requirement, and therefore I do not have an experience to share, but volunteering at my local precinct is something interesting i could do.

11/13/2012
Irving Texas
Jasmin T.
Nimitz Bradley
People always complain that the government isn't good, or its never going to go smoothly. I noticed half the people that said those kind of things never voted, never contributed to society, or did anything to make a change. Voting is beyond just important, I think it should be something you have to do as a citizen. As citizens we want so much, we want to be heard and all this but don't want to vote? Voting for whatever it may be, in city hall about where you put your trash on trash day or who you want to be the president. Our vote matters, our vote could be that change that we want to see, not only talk about but actually do something so it can happen!

11/8/2012
Rudyard, Mt
Donovan
Mrs.Campbell / Northstar
Voting is a big deal. Voting for the runners up for president can change, how the government will do. The election is a good thing when its comes to a president. The election outcomes are determined by those who participate and come to vote to. When I went to vote I didn't know what to do, should I vote of Mitt or Obama. Then it hit me, I now who to vote for. Then after I voted and I was so happy that I did and it felt so good and I said to myself "I compliation something in life.

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