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142 Million Reasons to Vote - Essay Example

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In the 2004 presidential election there were 142 million registered voters.Yet,of these millions of people able to directly affect our government,less than 2 out of 3 exercised their constitutional freedom to cast a ballot…
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142 Million Reasons to Vote
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142 Million Reasons to Vote In the 2004 presidential election there were 142 million registered voters and every one had their own reason to vote. Yet, of these millions of people able to directly affect our government, less than 2 out of 3 exercised their constitutional freedom to cast a ballot (McDonald). For every registered voter there is a good reason to vote, and for those that don't participate there is an excuse why they didn't. Voting is one of the most important civic privileges we have. Voter participation results in a better informed citizenry, allows us to directly participate in our political system, and assures that our founding principles will remain intact for future generations.
When people vote, it demands that they make a decision on whom to vote for. In their effort to choose the candidates of their choice, they may seek information from a variety of sources. They watch the evening news and surf the Internet. They tune into the debates and measure the candidate's words carefully. By the time Election Day rolls around, the voter feels confident that they have made the right choice. When asked, "Why did you vote for her", the voter will be able to articulate all the reasons. This inevitably results in a better informed citizenry, and that spells better government.
We often refer to our leaders as "the government" or hear people say "their policies". However, the correct phrases should be "our government" and "our policies". By participating in the voting process, we decide what our government will look like and what our policies will be. This is especially true on a local level when there are decisions to be made about how to spend scarce tax dollars. Voting is our direct link to the political process and our policies, projects, and legislation. It our constitutional guarantee that we are allowed to participate in the political process.
Our founding fathers set forth a set of principles to protect the average man from the tyranny of an unjust government. Regular elections and a right to vote were an integral part of their plan. Those founding principles have sustained our freedoms for over 200 years, and will continue to exist so long as we exercise our right to vote. A failure to vote invites corruption and will slowly erode our liberty. It will not be a tyrannical dictator that will come to steal away our freedom. It will be voter apathy and our own complacency. Voting assures us that those principles will be around for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.
Thomas Jefferson was referring to voting when he said, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance" (qtd. in "More on the "Eternal Vigilance" Quote"). When we take a stand and decide to vote, it motivates us to choose a candidate and get informed. A well informed citizenry results in more qualified officials and better government. Armed with information, we can set about actively participating in the political process by choosing the representatives that will do the job that we want done. Without this process, our freedom and liberties will fade into history, for if you don't care, someone more sinister will. Voting is vital to our American tradition and the most important civic obligation we have.
Works Cited
McDonald, Michael. "Voter Turnout." United States Election Project. 2006. George Mason University. 7 Sep. 2006 .
"More on the "Eternal Vigilance" Quote". 2003. The Second Amendment Foundation. 7 Sep. 2006 . Read More
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