In the U.S., we as citizens have a unique power those of other nations have never held: the power of a vote. Within the next few weeks, those votes will be used to determine whether the Democratic or Republican party will hold control of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Yet, according to recent studies, the majority of my peers in the Millennial and Gen-X groups will not cast a single vote. These groups prefer to sit back and allow the generations before them to make important decisions to determine our nation’s future.
Some of these individuals argue their vote does not matter. They feel powerless to make a difference, so instead, they just keep silent––until, of course, they have something to complain about after the fact.
We cannot complain about policies we disagree with or the actions of our government officials without at least trying to use the power we are given as U.S. citizens. Will your vote most likely be the single tiebreaker in an election? No, most likely not. But, if you refuse to do your duty as an American citizen, you make your chances of making a difference disappear entirely.
On Nov. 6, we have the chance to use this power given to us. Midterm Elections are among the most important elections in our nation, and too much is at play for us to sit on the sidelines.
These elections occur every two years in the middle of a presidential term. Members of U.S. Congress are up for election, and several states have gubernatorial and mayoral elections as well.
Why are these elections so important? Why should you care?
Your vote will determine which party ultimately has control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Whichever party holds the majority in Congress has the authority to set the national legislative agenda, and more importantly, hold our president accountable.
The Republican Party currently has control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but if the Democrats win control of either or both, it will be feasible for them to block legislation proposed by President Donald Trump, as well as Supreme Court and cabinet nominations.
It does not matter what party you identify with or if you identify with a party at all, but this much is clear: this election is crucial to what will happen in our country during the next few years.
Many sites and organizations have made information concerning the Midterm Elections readily available and easy to access. Citizens can visit USA.gov and the U.S. Vote Foundation for detailed information concerning election dates and deadlines for every state and territory. Also, the website Vote.org includes forms to check voter registration status, register to vote and fill an absentee ballot.
College students are among those who qualify to fill an absentee ballot if they attend school outside their district. While it may seem insignificant and a hassle to fill out an absentee ballot, the process could not be any easier. In two minutes or less, students can fill out an absentee voter form and have it mailed to them within days.
In other words, being a college student is no excuse for not voting. In fact, we are one of the most potentially influential groups when it comes to creating policy change and impacting our nation. We cannot risk our silence.
Voting is the great equalizer in our country. No matter your income, race or social status, every citizen over the age of 18 has the same power of a single vote. Do not sit back and allow yourself to depend on others to create change. In the same way, do not complain about our nation or its officials unless you fulfill your duty as a citizen and cast your vote.
No other nation has the power we do. Stop taking it for granted and stop making excuses.
We need your vote.