Your voice matters, your vote counts

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by NICOLE COOKE, Copy Editor
Even though the election is over and a new president has been elected, we’re sure to hear political debates from excited or unhappy voters through the next few days, or even weeks.
And as annoying as that is, I’m happy to hear it.
It proves that college students are interested in politics and who is running our country.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 49 percent of voters ages 18-24 participated in the 2008 presidential election, an increase of 2 percent from the previous presidential election.
If scrolling through political rants on my Facebook and Twitter means that young people are finally getting involved in the political process, I’ll deal with it.
OK, so maybe it’ll be annoying and I might complain, but I won’t take to every social media outlet to do so.
I’ll be honest – other than the primary this summer, this was the first time I’ve ever voted.
Granted, I wasn’t 18 during the 2008 presidential election, but I didn’t take an interest in politics until recently.
I finally realized that this was something that needed my full attention. Shouldn’t I care who was going to run my country for the next four years?
This year I did my research. I watched some of the debates, I read articles, and I voted.
However, not everyone thinks that way. I’ve heard many students say that they didn’t vote in Tuesday’s election because their vote didn’t matter.
I don’t understand how they can believe that statement.
Your voice doesn’t matter? Of course it does. If everyone thought that way, where would we be?
We, as Americans, have been given the right and privilege of voting. If we don’t exercise our right to vote, who will?
Saying you aren’t going to vote because your one opinion doesn’t matter, is like saying that donating a few dollars to charity won’t make a difference. It will.
President Obama even spoke on the topic during his acceptance speech.
“I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time,” he said.
“Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.”
I know that this advice doesn’t do much good two days after the election.
Voting may not matter to you much right now, but there will be plenty more elections in our lifetimes.
As members of that 18-24 age group that seems to ignore the political process, we need to realize the importance of voting.
So after reading this you might get on Facebook and rant about why I’m wrong and why you don’t need to vote.
But that’s fine with me. At least I exercised my right to vote.
Right now I’m just exercising my right to voice my opinion.