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Civic Duty and National Responsibility

Lifestyle & Opinion

By Elijah Dennison

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. These words are a reminder to those in the United States that all American citizens have the opportunity to elect leaders and representatives they believe should run this country. However, many do not vote. Because of this, they give up their chance to play a role in choosing leaders who change laws that will affect many American lives. Voting is one of, if not, the most important responsibilities of U.S. citizenship, and it is time that all eligible American voters come to understand this.

Which constitutional right allows American citizens to elect their own political leaders of tomorrow? It doesn’t take a political scientist to figure out the answer to that question is obviously voting. Which is a privilege that not everyone in the world has, and yet it is taken for granted by so many eligible voters in the United States. Estimates show that no more than about 58 percent of eligible voters actually voted during the 2016 presidential election. Meanwhile, only four for every ten voters cast in their ballots in the midterm elections of 2010 and 2014. Good grief!

So why are so many eligible American voters passing up their right to vote, and why is that a problem for the rest of us American citizens? Well, to answer the first question, 59 percent of the eligible but non-voting American citizens say there is no point to voting because they believe nothing ever gets done. Unfortunately, 54 percent of those Americans also do not vote because they believe the U.S. Government is too corrupt and do not want anything to do with it. While 37 percent of them simply believe that their votes do not have the slightest impact on these elections whatsoever. Over 240 million people in the United States are eligible voters, and yet there are over 100 million of those citizens who choose not to vote according to recent data received from the U.S. Census. This is a problem because every vote counts. For example, John F. Kennedy would not have become president of the United States if one U.S. Senator had voted differently in the presidential election of 1960, it would have been Richard Nixon. Another example, Texas might not even be a part of the United States today if one U.S. Senator would have voted differently in 1845. This is why voting is so important, because our votes decide which candidates win certain state electors and Senators, that is how the Electoral College system works.

In conclusion, almost half of our eligible voting population choose not to vote, and that is not okay because they are neglecting their ability to determine who runs our nation. Choosing not to vote is completely irresponsible and a waste of our constitutional rights. Those who have the ability to vote, but do not, are ignoring their civic duty and betraying a national responsibility that the Founding Fathers fought so hard to get. Because these elections are not all about which talking heads you want to listen to for the next few years, it is about expressing ideas that you believe will be what is best for the United States and the American people.  

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