Why Is It Important to Vote?

Public policy affects every aspect of your life, from taxes to healthcare, so you need to vote.

Why? Read on..

Joan Michelson

Joan Michelson

Speaker | Coach | Podcast Host, Green Connections Radio

You need to vote because you care for your life and the life around you

If you pay taxes, if you drive a car, if you use public transportation, if you use healthcare, if you have a job or run a business or are in school, if you have a family, or like to travel, then what happens in government affects you directly every day.

If you want the troops to be safe, you need to vote. If you want your kids or grandkids to go to school and come home safely, you need to vote.

By not voting, you are saying that you don’t care how much you pay in taxes or how much healthcare costs or how much your transportation costs, for example.

As we commemorate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, it’s especially important that women celebrate 100 years of voting by voting. This was a hard-won right, costing lives and treasure over many decades.

I know because my great-great-aunt was a reporter who personally kept the suffrage cause in the headlines and leveraged her notoriety, platforms, and success to help women gain this right, which opened the door to women’s economic, political and social power.

If you have been outraged by the behavior of the current occupant of the White House, and/or by Members of Congress, all of whom are tearing this country apart in myriad ways at the moment with their divisiveness and inaction on crucial issues from infrastructure to national security to climate change to gun violence, then you must vote.

If you don’t vote, don’t complain. Ever. About anything.

If you don’t vote, you are abdicating your responsibility and silencing your own voice. If you want to be heard and listened to, then you need to vote.

John Crossman, CCIM, CRX

John Crossman

CEO, Crossman & Company

One must vote out of respect for the suffering of past generations

My first real job was when I was in high school. I worked summers and after school at the Palm Beach County Political Elections Office. One of my jobs was assembling butterfly ballots.

Watching the election process from the inside gave me a deep appreciation for the importance of voting. It was always surprising to me how few adults actually voting.

In addition, one of my youngest memories was volunteering to help clean a VA building on a Saturday. I met dozens of WW II veterans who were clearly permanently damaged by the war.

The combination of these two experiences has forever impacted me on the importance of voting. I voted at 18 and have never missed an election over the last 30 years. I take my daughters with me often times when I vote so they will understand the importance and how it impacts the future.

Mike Falahee

Mike Falahee

Owner & CEO, Marygrove Awning, Co.

Voting can change the world

Everyone has something important to them, but in order to make that important something takes a form, you have to vote it into existence. You have to tell people that this is important and motivate them to feel as passionately as you do.

You can complain about the corrupt politicians or the president who was or wasn’t elected, but they will continue to get into positions of power until you make your voice heard.

One vote might not make a difference, but a hundred, a thousand could, and you can’t reach those numbers until you start with that first, single number.

Paige Arnof-Fenn

Paige Arnof-Fenn

Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls

I vote in every election and feel voting is very important for a few reasons:

  • It is a privilege. There are many places in the world where you cannot vote, it is a privilege and a responsibility we should never take for granted.
  • If you do not vote, you cannot complain. It is a right and duty in a free democratic country to exercise your voice.
  • We fought hard for this, especially women, so we must vote!

Pablo Solomon

Pablo Solomon

Award-winning Designer

Voting is our societal responsibility and a form of political expression

But on a personal level, voting should cause you to examine your beliefs, priorities, and core values.

Sometimes, voting is difficult. You may have one core value that one candidate supports while violating a dozen of your other values. You may also need to decide whether your voting to make one point is worth sacrificing the good of your community.

So often people decide that neither candidate is worth crap so they do not vote. Sadly, we are often faced with deciding who is the better of two really crappy choices.

But in life, things are not always a clear cut perfect choice. Part of growing as a human is learning to make tough decisions and weighing out compromises.

Often we cannot openly express our true beliefs due to societal pressures. The beauty of voting is that your vote is secret and you can express yourself without fear.

However, your vote will count so put in the time to research, evaluate and contemplate how you want to be counted. Do not vote on emotion alone. You are part of a complex society that requires citizens willing to face complexity.

Jenny Mae Talaver

Jenny Mae Talaver

Environmental Blogger, Zero Waste Lifestyle System

It is important to vote for many reasons, but here I will distill the significance of voting in three arguments:

Voting is a citizen’s moral duty

Rights are responsibilities for citizens who are endowed with them, either from birth or naturalization. The right of suffrage or voting is one of the most significant and heavy responsibilities and privileges of every citizen.

No one can ever be coerced to vote because voting represents the individual leadership choices of every person.

However, it is paramount for everyone to practice this specific right come election/plebiscite/referendum time. It is a moral act because the choices you make in voting will affect your life and your whole country’s in the future, even months after the election itself.

It is important to vote, ultimately, because it is your duty to choose the socio-political future of your community and country.

Also, by voting, you affirm the democracy of your country.

It is the ultimate expression of political freedom

To vote is the perfect way to voice out any concerns, opinions, and ideologies to the whole society. Aristotle once said, “Man is a political animal”.

This means that everything we do affects the politics of our community and country. We are best free to show our political inclinations during elections.

Here we have one vote to give to the leader/s who we believe share/s our ideals, values, and goals for the future. It is through voting that we best express ourselves to the wider establishment of socio-politics.

Most importantly, you feel respected in your choices when you vote and it’s counted well after the elections. Simply put, you vote out of your own will, considering your own moral conscience.

Related: 19 Best Political Books of All Time

Elections engage the population in a social contract for the common good

John Locke coined the term “Social Contract” as a mutually sensitive relationship between state and populace.

Here, the state and its officials are voted into power by the populace. The state develops and presents policies, laws, and programs for the common good of the people.

When the people no longer feel that the state is providing the common good, then they can throw these officials out of power and protest their office through elections or revolutions.

Since the latter involves blood and conflict that divides the populace, elections are the better way the state and populace can engage themselves to fulfill the social contract.

Ultimately speaking, voting is important because here you participate in a free legal beneficial process of choosing the way your state is run for the common good of the citizenry.

Naomi Nakashima, MA

Naomi Nakashima

Freelance Writing Coach

Vote for people who support the industry you are in

Public policy doesn’t just affect us on a personal level as citizens, but also as business owners. Projections show that by next year, nearly half of the United States’ workforce will be comprised of freelance professionals.

This shift has a huge impact on local and national economies, yet freelancers do not have the same protections as unemployment insurance, workers compensation, minimum wage, or anti-discrimination and harassment protections.

We don’t even have a guarantee that we’ll get paid for the work we do, nor is it an easy road to secure payment from a client who skips out on his invoice.

It’s more than just taxes…we’re voting for people who will help us get the money we’ve earned for the work that we’re doing.

Ayanna Julien

Ayanna Julien

Managing Editor, Effortless Insurance

Voting is a civic duty and an obligation as respect for those who fought hard for it

Voting is important for a multitude of reasons, least of which, it is a tenet of American Democratic principles, as prescribed by our Founding Fathers.

But it’s especially poignant for people of color, and particularly African Americans, for whom voting represents a significant step toward inclusion and equality since the abolition of slavery.

With countless African American lives lost in the fight for this privilege and fundamental right, voting then becomes much more than a mere civic duty with the expressed intent to give voice to individual interests, be it the approval or disapproval of policies, thus reinforcing freedoms. That is, to speak up for what one believes in and is hopefully, right and fair.

Instead, for African Americans, it’s a duty or perhaps more specifically, an obligation, to those who have come before them, fought tirelessly, and even died for present-day African Americans to not only have a say in the American political process but to do so freely.

As such, for American Americans, voting isn’t only about being an American and engaging in requisite civic duties but also paying respects to those who indeed made it possible, as the fact is, it was less than a century ago that doing so wasn’t even possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I encounter problems when casting my vote?

If you encounter problems while voting, it’s important that you address the problem and report it to the proper authority. Common problems include:

• long lines
• broken voting machines
• voter intimidation
• incorrect information about voting eligibility

If you encounter any issues while voting in person, notify a poll worker or supervisor immediately. They can help you resolve the problem or direct you to the proper authority.

If you believe your rights have been violated or you have experienced voter intimidation, report the incident to your state’s elections office or the Department of Justice’s Voting Rights Division.

If you encounter any issues while voting by mail, such as not receiving your ballot, contact your local election office to determine the status of your ballot and request a replacement if necessary.

Remember that every eligible citizen has the right to vote and that it’s important to report any issues that prevent you from exercising that right. By speaking up and reporting problems, you can help ensure everyone’s vote counts.

What is voter suppression, and how can I help prevent it?

Voter suppression is any tactic or strategy used to prevent eligible voters from exercising their right to vote. Examples of voter suppression include:

• gerrymandering
• voter ID laws
• purging of voter rolls
• intimidation tactics

It’s important to stay informed about the laws and regulations governing voting in your state and to report suspicious activity to the proper authorities to help prevent voter suppression. You can also support organizations that work to protect the right to vote and encourage voter participation.

In addition, you can encourage others to vote and provide information about the voting process and the important issues at stake in the election.

By promoting civic engagement and working to ensure that all eligible citizens have the opportunity to vote, we can strengthen our democracy and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.

What is gerrymandering, and how does it impact elections?

Gerrymandering is the practice of drawing political lines to favor one political party or group over another. This can be done by drawing oddly shaped districts that concentrate one group of voters while diluting the voting power of another.

Gerrymandering can be used to create “safe” districts for incumbents or weaken certain communities’ political power.
Gerrymandering can significantly impact elections as it can lead to a distortion of the will of voters.

In some cases, a party that receives a minority of the vote may win a majority of seats in a legislature or other governing body. This can result in certain groups not being represented and elected officials not being held accountable.

Several states have established independent redistricting commissions or taken other measures to prevent gerrymandering and ensure that political boundaries are drawn fairly and impartially.

What role does the media play in the political process?

The media plays a critical role in the political process by providing information and analysis to voters and holding elected officials and candidates accountable. The media includes a variety of media outlets, including newspapers, television news, radio, and online sources.

The role of the media in shaping public opinion and influencing election outcomes has become increasingly important in recent years, as social media and other online platforms have provided new avenues for political messaging and communication.

The media can also play a role in promoting transparency and accountability in government by investigating and reporting on issues such as corruption, campaign finance, and government policy.

However, the media’s role in the political process has also been the subject of criticism, with some claiming that the media has become too partisan or sensationalist in its reporting.

Why should I vote if my preferred candidate or issue is unlikely to win?

While it can be discouraging to vote for a candidate or issue that may not be the most popular choice, it’s important to remember that every vote counts.

Voting isn’t just about choosing a winner; it’s about participating in the democratic process and having your voice heard. By casting your vote, you contribute to the dialog and shape the conversation about the issues that matter most to you.

With your vote, you also send a message to elected officials and policymakers about what matters to you and what you want for your community, state, or country.

Even if your preferred candidate or issue doesn’t win, your vote still has value and contributes to the ongoing conversations about the future of your community.

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