The Singular Importance of a Vote

Op-ed

“Voting is your civic duty.” This is a common sentiment, but what does it mean?

Voting is one of the most impactful things you can do for yourself and your community. The right to vote is one that must be exercised by everyone who is eligible to vote, especially with the upcoming election.

As an American Muslim teen, the importance of voting has always been emphasized in my life.

His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, says that “... if a person or group wishes to change the government, then they should do so by following the proper democratic process. They should make themselves heard by voting at the ballot box.”

Why Your Vote Matters

If you ever think that just one vote in a sea of millions cannot make much of a difference, consider some of the closest elections in U.S. history.

Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district, your vote undoubtedly matters when it comes to electoral results. Most states have a “winner take all” system where the popular vote winner gets the state’s electoral votes.

If you want change to come, then you can do your part by voting. When you vote, your opinion is not only heard but counted, and that can make the real difference. Voting is the first act of making a change to issues important to us.

How to Vote this Year

Voting in the 2020 general election is tricky. Social distancing rules, paired with a high turnout of voters, will make poll lines much longer. Millions of people, some for the first time, will vote by mail. If you’re mailing your ballot, send it in as early as possible. If your state has early in-person, take advantage of it in order to prevent long lines on election day on November 3, when it’s expected that there will be a shortage of poll workers. For more information on how to vote, go here: https://www.vote.org/

How Younger People Can Make Their Voices Heard!

If you’re like me and not yet 18, you can still participate in the election process. You may not be able to walk into a voting booth, but there are things you can do to get involved:

Be informed! Read up on political issues (both local and national) and figure out where you stand.

Even if you cannot vote, you can still voice opinions on social media, in your school or local newspaper, or other public forums. Just make sure to be respectful!

Participating in elections is one of the key rights of an American. Many people in other parts of the world do not have the same rights, nor did many Americans in recent history. No matter where you stand or who you support, it is important to exercise your rights.

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Profile

Maha Laiq

Editor · 22 edited articles · 8 pitched topics · 17 writers helped

Maha is a current high school junior from Virginia. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, catching up on binge-worthy TV shows, and spending time with her friends and family.


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