An estimated 30 percent of eligible Americans will surrender their control of their futures to a group of strangers. Indifferent, they will place their lives in the hands of others and toss their fates up to the wind, fully aware of the possibility that they and their children may be swept into a gaping abyss.
An estimated 60 million people will choose not to vote in the 2020 election.
Of course, the numbers are impressive. Voting turnout is predicted to reach a record-breaking high of 70 percent. That’s a number over 10 percent more than the turnout of the 2016 election. It’s also a statistic that’s falling short of the voting turnouts of other developed democratic countries. In a nation that prides itself on being an international game-changer — a country whose actions affect the entire world — it’s a person’s civil (and moral) responsibility to ensure that the outcome of the election is one that the majority of America’s population agrees on.
The first time I came across somebody who was unsure if they were going to vote was in the summer of 2016. I was visiting my relatives and overheard my grandfather talking about who he would vote for in the upcoming election. He was disappointed in both of the candidates, so I was curious as to what he’d do.
“I’m not sure about this year,” I heard him say. “I don’t know. Is it even worth voting?” Maybe he was joking. I, at the age of ten, wouldn’t have been able to tell. But hearing that startled me.
In the end, he did vote, and he was glad of it. As unimpressive as both the candidates were to him, his vote and the vote of others who, like him, had contemplated refusing to vote, could have made all the difference in the future of the nation. Each vote matters, and those who refuse to vote are doing themselves, their nation, and the world a great injustice. Because if we, the people of America, don’t cast our ballots, then who will?
Admittedly, the process to register to vote and ensure that all the requirements are met can be tedious. There are hoops to jump through, barriers to cross. Certain elections require certain regulations, identification is a must, and voting can be difficult to access in certain areas. Whether this is right or wrong, liberty, throughout history, has never been without obstacles. We’ve fought to overcome them before. Today, now, is not the time to let that fight die.
But more than that, voting is a freedom that We The People of the United States have sacrificed so much for, sacrifices that cannot go in vain. It’s a freedom that our ancestors and the fathers of America gave up their blood, their lives for; a freedom that parents fought for even knowing that their child might be left an orphan. A freedom that is withheld from just under half of governments worldwide.
This freedom — the freedom to have a say in our own lives — is one that is worth it. We live in an era where we can take advantage of the liberties that other Americans before and ahead of our time, who have battled for both us and the fundamental beliefs of the USA, have preserved. Not taking advantage of it is almost equivalent to willingly falling under the reign of a stranger, the reign of an autocratic society.
So whatever the circumstances, whoever the candidates, the laws, the ideas being presented — your voice matters.
The year is 2020 and the time to vote is now.
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“More Than Half of Countries are Democratic”