Your Vote, Your Voice!

Citizens can make a difference in their community by voting


Voting allows citizens to decide the future of our country.

Voting allows citizens to decide the future of our country. Madison Duong graphic.

Before November 3, citizens from all around the country did everything in their power to prepare for the upcoming election. The chaotic weeks leading up to an election day can cause people to completely turn their back on politics, as they just want the mayhem to end. But it’s important to remember the impact an individual can make on Election Day by voting.

Democracy, which not every country implements, allows U.S. citizens to choose their leaders. By voting, citizens are exercising a right that should not be taken for granted. Government teacher Madelyn Kieler has been encouraging her students to not only vote, but to stay politically engaged year-round.

“In order for us to have a well functioning democracy, we need citizens to participate,” said Kieler. “One of the ways and probably the easiest way for citizens to participate is through voting.”

For a lot of people, the outcome of an election can directly affect their quality of life. From healthcare to education, it’s necessary to assess each candidate’s policies and the impact they could have. Voting gives people a chance to stand up for their community, and see through that its needs are met. 

“I believe that everyone should educate themselves on the issues, what they believe in, and then vote in every election not just the presidential election,” said Kieler. “Local politics are a lot of times overlooked but they have a much bigger effect on many people’s daily lives.”

Senior Rose Hurley may not be eligible to vote in this year’s presidential election, but she understands the heavy importance of voter participation, as one policy has the power to change lives for better or worse.

“The people we put into office have the power to make laws that affect everyone personally,” said Hurley. “It’s a citizen’s responsibility to understand and analyze politics so they can make informed decisions on who to vote for.”

Each election’s outcome is in the hands of the people, and it’s time citizens take advantage of that.

“I’d like to imagine voting is satisfactory because you get a chance to make change,” said Hurley. “In a world with such major power imbalances, voting is a way to demand a voice and it will be heard.”

According to, young citizens have the power to set the course for their own lives and future generations, and by not voting, they’re giving someone else the power to decide for them. 

Senior Jacob Moberly will be voting for the first time in this year. He says he is excited to use his voice.

“I do think voting will be a rewarding experience because it gives me a sense of having a say in the way the country will be ran for the next four years,” said Moberly.

Even though there are several benefits to voting, many people decide not to do so. Moberly believes it’s because some don’t have a strong enough opinion on either candidate. Similarly, Kieler says some citizens don’t feel politically educated enough to vote. 

It’s the common misconception that not every vote matters that is stopping people from going to a poll. They believe that among millions of other voters, their single vote adds nothing to the final decision. 

However, the 2000 presidential election between candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore debunked that misconception. According to, Bush won the popular vote in Florida by only 537 votes. It was so close that it needed a recount to confirm the winner. If just 600 more people out of the 129 million total registered voters had voted for Gore, the 2000 election could have had an entirely different outcome. It just goes to show that each and every vote can boost a candidate’s chances of securing an election.

Whether or not you can vote this year, there’s still a lot that can be done to prepare you for when you’re eligible. Kieler says all information regarding registration and polling locations can be found on the Iowa of Secretary State website. advises that those who are ineligible should not tune out the election because there are other ways to get involved, such as voicing opinions on social media or volunteering at a candidate’s campaign. 

“You could influence so many more votes than just the one you can legally have when you are 18,” said Kieler.

Additionally, staying politically active can help your first time voting be less overwhelming. 

“Educate yourself and go vote,” said Kieler. “You can not complain about the outcome or current state of American politics if you do not participate when you could have.”