I like voting. I like thinking about it. I like doing it. I especially like the idea of it – the idea that I, myself, can say something that will definitely be heard, and that could change the world (or even just my street, or my city). I know that some people may not think voting can have that impact, and you don’t have to agree with me there, but I believe voting is important for other reasons too. Here are three reasons why I vote, and why I encourage everyone, especially young people, to do the same.
#1 Voting is a privilege
I don’t think there’s a way to make this one sound any less stuffy, but I really do believe in the principle of it. There have been a lot of seriously badass women throughout history who weren’t allowed to vote, and I vote in honour of them. There were generations of people who weren’t allowed to vote, and fought for it, and I vote in honour of them. There are people all over the world today who are denied this right, and I vote in honour of them too. As a woman, as a citizen, and as a person, I believe in voting as a hard-won way of speaking up, and I feel lucky to be able to do so.
#2 Voting shows you think
Elections are an opportunity to think about the people and society around you. Lots of people stop actively learning when they finish school or college, but elections are an opportunity to keep learning about things, to stay curious, and to stay in the loop. Oftentimes, elections bring up important issues that we may be uncomfortable talking about normally, and help to start a national discussions. I think talking about the things that make us uncomfortable will always, always result in progress. And I like progress.
#3 Voting shows you care
Every time you vote it’s like writing a love letter to yourself, to your neighbours, to your classmates, to the people and places you care about. By voting, you’re making a promise that you want to take care of them as well as yourself, not only in the present but in the future too. Your vote directly influences who’s going to look after you and what you care about. You should have a say in who’s going to be taking care of your housing, your local park, or your future kid’s school.
I think it’s important to care fiercely about things, and to tell people when you do. Voting, for me, is a good way of telling people what I care about. So, I encourage everyone to do some research, see who cares about what you care about, or thinks about what you think about, and cast your vote.