I love to vote. Maybe it’s because less than one hundred years ago I wouldn’t have had the right to vote. So in essence, I doing it because my great-grandma couldn’t.
I registered to vote before I even graduated from high school. I was so excited to turn 18 and finally be able to be a part of the democratic process. My parents set a good example by always voting, even taking me with them when they did. They did this without ever discussing who they voted for with each other or any one else. They believed that who you vote for is private.
My very first election just happened to be a presidential election. It was 1996 and Dole was running against Clinton. I was taking a political science class my first quarter in college and our professor required us to do exit polling. I stood outside all day (it felt like it at least) asking people to fill out a form saying who they voted for while I grew more and more excited to cast my own first ballot.
I have voted every single year since, except for 2007. My mother passed away that day and voting took a backseat that year. I remember voting one year after I got off work when it wasn’t a presidential election or congressional election and the poll workers told me I was the youngest person they had seen there all day. They got so excited and gave me a whole sheet of “I voted” stickers. All of the voters there were seniors and it was funny how they fawned all over me. I remember one of them saying something like “It’s good to see youngsters coming out and exercising their civic duty.”
My point is this…we should vote EVERY year, not every 4 years. We are lucky to have a say in our government. And though sometimes we might not like the options available to us, it is our duty as Americans to get out and brave the bad weather, long lines, and disenchantment with the process. Why? Because people died for the privilege to do so. Women were jailed and beaten to earn their right to vote. Do it because you can. Is there a better reason than that?