Vote: Your voice is crucial

Staff Editorial, Courier Staff

Photo illustration by Trennt Rhea and Maria Elena Franco.

The right to vote is a cornerstone of democracy and is one of the most important civic duties we have as citizens of the U.S. Voting is a great responsibility, and it is crucial we understand its significance in determining the course of history.

One reason voting is so important in the U.S. is its ability to promote equality. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution opens by clearly stating, We the People, granting every citizen an equal voice in policy-making processes. By casting your vote, you actively participate in upholding this principle of fairness, ensuring each voter’s opinion can be taken into account.

Amid the uncertainty of what the future will look like for our generation, younger voters seem to be taking over polling centers across the country, and influencing decision-making in the House and Senate, according to National Public Radio.

The young people of this generation have the potential to shift the very structure of state, and in some cases even national, politics. There are so many of us. If the majority of us came out to vote, and voice our opinions, we could change the system for the better.

According to the Pew Research Center, 24 million Generation Z citizens were eligible to cast a vote in the November 2020 election. They were also the most diverse generation to hit the polls that year.

There are often heated debates surrounding national elections and the question of whether your vote counts. While political races are important, it is equally important to recognize the impact local politicians have on our daily lives.

Local politicians such as mayors, city council members and school board officials are responsible for making decisions that directly impact our communities. They are essential in administering and maintaining our parks, schools and other public government agencies as well as establishing neighborhood rules and regulations.

In a diverse state such as Texas, local officials are in charge of managing and allocating resources to meet the particular needs of many communities and areas. They are in charge of supporting economic development, preserving public safety and maintaining local infrastructure and public services.

It’s important to be informed and vote during elections because the future of this country depends on our participation.

Compared to their federal counterparts, local politicians are often more approachable and receptive to the interests and concerns of their community members. Because of their proximity to the constituents they serve, they have a greater ability to solve the issues crucial to their communities.

Voters must understand the significance of local elections and take an active role in them.

Voters can guarantee their voices are heard and their priorities are represented by taking time to learn about their local candidates and the issues most important to them. By keeping local elections a priority, we can ensure our communities are represented by individuals who share our values and who will work hard to increase the standard of living of voters.

When you participate in federal or local elections, you pay homage to those who fought tirelessly for our right to vote. Historically, various segments of the population were excluded from this civic duty, and many have faced intense opposition while advocating for equal representation. By voting, you honor their sacrifices and recognize the privilege you possess as a citizen of a democratic nation.

For young people, this is another pivotal moment in history. A bill has been proposed to the Texas legislature which would ban polling at Texas colleges and universities. This act is an attempt to silence our generation.

The very politicians who are supposed to represent us have instead chosen to cast us to the side. If we want to combat these challenges, we must become more politically active, and that starts with voting. Vote for the individuals who will accurately represent your voice.

Every vote has the power to make a difference. There are countless examples of elections won or lost by remarkably slim margins. Your individual vote may well be the deciding factor in the outcome of an election, with broader implications for your community, state or even the country.

It’s important to be informed and vote during elections because the future of this country depends on our participation. We must fight to protect and improve this country. The first step is voting for officials we believe in.