League Of Women Voters Mary Warren Impact Scholarship Winning Essay On Why Voting Is Important (2 of 5)
A vote, however, is far more than just a mere drop in the ocean; it is the lifeblood of our nation. Even with philosophy and practical interpretation notwithstanding, it is a facet of the representative democracy this government was designed to fulfill. It is the fundamental ability of every citizen to not only wrangle themselves from the wire of injustice but to elevate, educate, and empower their communities.
Every minority has faced one --or perhaps many-- judgements of their worth by those who had never known the world as they had experienced it. If these citizens were never allowed to cast their vote, they would be relegated to forever remain on the menu, with no seat at the table. That is to say, when the right of even one citizen to vote, no matter how vulnerable, is revoked or limited, they are prevented from safeguarding their access to the freedoms guaranteed to American citizens who do sit at the nation’s helm.
The act of voting can mean the difference between life and death, poverty and health, equity and inequality. If those who are subjugated are given no opportunity with which to make themselves known, then the fundamental ideal of our democracy must be called into question; and engaging in this process of review is what voting allows the general public to begin, to participate in, and to grow from. Without this open referendum and the ability to influence how the government will treat you, there is hardly a weight to any claims of freedom for all when a portion of us “all” still remain without.
As such, it is logical to conclude that voting, being both the very definition of due process in our representative democracy and an act to ensure one’s place in the country, is integral to the function and promise of American democracy.
Community activist and concerned citizen.