Opinion: Every vote counts

Stephen Means

For some odd reason, many young people choose not to vote in elections.

Their excuse? That their “one vote will not make a difference.”

The problem with this is that—though I believe there is truth behind it— it can become alarming when the majority of our generation (Millennnials) thinks that way.

One vote essentially means nothing. But a million votes can make a drastic difference in who is making the decisions for this country.

One person with the mindset that their vote doesn’t matter isn’t that big of a deal. However, the problem is that many in our generation think this way.

For those who don’t believe voting matters, think back to the presidential election of 2008: that election saw the largest turnout among young voters this country has ever seen.

That kind of turnout is what got Barack Obama—our current commander-in-chief—in office. Since then, the number of voters has declined year-by-year, with many not planning to vote this year as well.

You could look at the two primary presidential candidates and think that it is a lose-lose situation for the country no matter who wins.

Yet, what many fail to realize is that in every presidential election, there are more than just a Democratic and a Republican nominee.

There are handfuls of other parties that offer an option to vote for and there is still the choice of just writing in a candidate that is not on the ballot.

Voting matters. No matter what your background is, I can guarantee that at some point in history, someone had to fight for your right to vote.

So out of respect for those people, it’s only right that you exercise this right to its fullest potential.

That means not only voting in major elections every four years, but also voting in local and state elections that take place every year. You can’t complain about the issues in this country and remain silent when given the opportunity to be heard.

Does this country have its flaws? Yes.

But that doesn’t mean we should quit or choose to not be informed and take action.

Voting gives us the chance to change things. Nobody can force you to vote when Nov. 8 roles around: You, ultimately, are the only one who determines your decision.

Whatever you do, just make sure that you actually make one.