GRAPHIC BY KELLY LY, Voting is an essential part of our democracy. It gives the people a say in their government by casting votes for political candidates that share their ideals and beliefs.

People need to vote more

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Voting is a right that has not been readily available to all American citizens in the past. Men used to be the only ones to bear the right to vote on a federal level, and barely a century has passed since women gained suffrage in America. According to the U.S. Census and Pew Research Center, roughly 64% of eligible citizens are registered voters, with an average voter turnout of 92%. While voter turnout has been steadily increasing throughout the years, a portion of the population still does not register or vote despite being eligible. With drastic changes in legislation and leadership in recent times, it is vital that people vote more for a say in their future and government. 

While only a portion of registered voters consistently vote, every single ballot that is cast — and not cast — holds power. With the 2022 midterm elections that occurred in Nov., voter turnout has continued to rise in the U.S. The youth turnout in particular soared; it is the second highest overall voting demographic in the midterm elections. Primarily Democratic, these voters managed to prevent a forecasted Republican “red wave” across the nation. This recent occurrence demonstrates the power of one’s ballot, proving that voting is effective. 

Additionally, voting gives a person the opportunity to be heard through their ballot. It is likely that at least some other people would share similar beliefs and interests, equaling additional votes that would let those voices be heard. In order to avoid the passing of legislation or election of politicians that one may not agree with, people should capitalize on the power of their ballot by voting whenever possible. As a result, voting is the best way to ensure every voice is heard in elections. 

Regardless, with the majority of eligible voters already participating in elections, not every citizen needs to vote. It is practically impossible to have every single person vote and have their voices heard during elections. People often share the same ideals and beliefs, meaning that their votes would blend together regardless of whether they vote or not. Not every citizen has the liberty of being able to easily vote, leaving them to rely on others with similar mindsets to vote on their behalf. While these arguments are reasonable, they do not take away from the fact that voting has an impact on the future and being able to vote gives people some power in determining their future. It is true that many citizens cannot vote due to restrictions or difficulty finding a place to vote, but there are those who simply let others vote for them despite being able to cast their own ballots. There is a stark difference between those who cannot vote due to circumstance and those who ignore their ability to vote. If one shares similar ideals and beliefs as others, voting together would ensure that those beliefs are heard. 

Voter turnout is steadily rising as the circumstances of the nation continue to change. Past occurrences prove the power of the people and their ballots, voting for what they believe in to ensure a brighter future. With their ballot, they are given a voice amidst millions of Americans. People need to vote more if given the opportunity to, and let their voices be heard to ensure that they have a say in the future. 

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