Getting vocal about voting

It's time to stop complaining and start voting

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Getting vocal about voting

Isa Luzarraga, Entertainment Editor

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Approaching the little cubicle covered in bright red, white, and blue crepe paper, you quickly review your voting choice in your head. You realize that although you are one person, the name you mark on that ballot makes a sizable difference that’s more than you could ever hope for.

The foundation of the United States of America is based on the ideas written about in the Constitution. Our government is supposedly by the people and for the people. Personally, I believe it is our responsibility of citizens to vote for officials we feel best to represent us and our ideas.  Yet, the makeup of our national legislature does not correspond with our demographic as a whole.

According to a 2017 census from the United Census Bureau, women occupy 50.8% of the American population, with men being in the other 50.2%. However, in our the legislative branch of our national government, women occupy only 19.1% of the House of Representatives and 22% of the U.S. Senate.

Additionally, we see an underwhelming representation of people of color in our local, state, and national governments. The Gender and Multicultural Leadership Project found that people of color currently make up 6% of the U.S. Senate and 15.9% of the U.S. House of Representatives. This is a sizable discrepancy when compared to the 41.5% of people of color that make up the population of our country.

This resulting disparity causes conflict among our politicians and people in our communities.

In order to ensure political unity, people need to feel like they have a voice in our government. Maybe there is no candidate that perfectly represents your beliefs, but everyone deserves a place at the table. According to an article from the Washington Post, “Only 56 percent of the U.S. voting-age population casted ballots in the 2016 election.” This exemplifies why it is pertinent for the youth of our country to go out and vote.

Everyone, regardless of their background or status, has a right as a citizen of the United States of America to be represented fairly. Voting would ensure that the makeup of our government reflects our country’s diverse demographic.

It is understandable that it can be intimidating to vote, especially when you first come of age. Younger individuals may feel like their vote is insignificant compared the other millions of ballots.

But the fact is, all of us can make a difference. Instead of complaining about all the decisions being made in our government, we need to do something about it.

As seen in the recent midterm elections on Nov. 6th, when people are active in government and choose to vote, we see increased representation in our government. An article from Time Magazine states, “The 2018 election is shaping up to be a historic year for midterm voter turnout, with many states recording levels of voter participation not seen for a non-presidential election in decades.”

Subsequently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the youngest women ever elected to the U.S. of Representatives, representing the younger generations as well as Latina women. Besides Cortex, two Muslim women were the first to be elected to the House at the 2018 midterms. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota won their state seat.

After the midterms, there is now 117 women out of 435. These results exemplify the power of voting, and how even though you are one person, every voice matters.

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