Voting: Necessary or pointless?

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Voting: Necessary or pointless?

Mei Bradford, Journalist

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There is a toxic mindset ruining our democracy. This idea is negatively affecting the country and goes against many of the core beliefs this country was founded on. This idea is that an individual’s vote doesn’t matter. This is false. Voting does matter and it is within any American’s civic duty to vote. According to Mrs. Fritz, an Advanced Placement United States Government teacher, voting is a way for the people to hold government officials and legislators accountable and responsible. In addition to her beliefs, Tom Robie (pictured right), IHS senior, agrees and believes that voting is the way that the people have a hand in government decisions. Mrs. Fritz believes that policy needs to be formed around what the people want and what they need. Americans have always fought for the right to vote. Whether it was the African Americans fighting for equality and freedom or Women’s Suffrage, Americans have always fought for the right to vote. According to Mrs. Fritz, the fight is not over. There will always be a bigger power trying to take away the right to vote. For example, before the twenty-fourth Amendment was passed, poll taxes were legal and many states implemented them. This is an example of the local governments attempting to limit who could afford to vote. Another example would be when African Americans first gained the right to vote and many white Americans would harass, threaten, and beat them when they tried to vote. There are countless times in American history where the people in power or the majority attempt to take away the right to vote from people who they think are inferior.

Since Americans have always fought for the right to vote, it is important that everyone who can exercises this vote, especially young people. Many young people don’t think their vote matters, but the truth is the complete opposite. The government needs to hear from the young people because they are going to be the ones affected by the policy and change the government is implementing. Everything, especially in today’s society, is going to affect the youth. Climate Change, Women’s Rights, Gun Control, etc. are going to affect the future generations, not the Baby Boomers who currently have an iron grip on today’s politics.

There are still many who believe that their vote doesn’t matter. Many of these ideas come from the Electoral College. The Electoral College was originally put in place because Alexander Hamilton didn’t believe that the general public could be trusted to choose the best leaders and make the best decisions. At the time, the only people who could vote were wealthy white males who owned property. Education was also not a top priority of the colonists when they first came to America; therefore many of the voters were not educated. Many see this as a form of elitist democracy and that the Electoral College should be abolished. According to Mrs. Fritz, the Electoral College is “necessary to protect the minorities and the less populous states”. Many people don’t even know what the Electoral College is, which leads to the next concerning issue with voting. Can the people be trusted to vote for the right politician if they are not informed? According to Tom Robie, people should be trusted to inform themselves with unbiased information to whatever degree they choose. He believes that there is a lot of biased and unreliable information out there that can taint and sway an individual’s morals and opinions.

Despite all of this valid information, voting is essential to how the government runs. It is one of the many ways people have a say in policy making. Americans have always fought for the right to vote and the fight is not over. Americans need to continue to exercise their right to vote to create a better America.

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