Democracy is defined as “a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.” In a country that prides itself on upholding the ideals of democracy, one of the most important traits should be making sure everyone’s voice is heard. Unfortunately, it’s easy to make mistakes and certain groups can feel left out, intentionally or not. That’s why it’s so important to vote, especially this November. 

In the present time period, it’s easy to feel like everyone is speaking out about what they believe in and to a certain extent that's true. Social media apps, such as Twitter, Facebook and TikTok, have made it easier than ever to share information and opinions to a wide-range of individuals. Someone from Wisconsin can easily be exposed to the beliefs of someone from Virgina or even from another country like Ireland in the tap of a button. Posting a video or paragraph about why something’s right or wrong isn’t going to be enough, especially if it’s something really important to you. It’s not enough to put a short blurb on your Instagram story and hope that this alone will inspire change. Change takes time and action. 

One way to take action is to vote. Being able to make some type of impact about which individuals get elected can go a long way in bringing about the good changes that need to occur in this country. Just one vote can make or break a result even more than a social media post with 100 likes ever could. 

I know it can be easy to trick yourself into thinking that’s not true, and that it doesn’t matter if you don’t vote. Many people had that mindset during the last election in 2016, mostly because they didn’t like the candidates. This logic is very dangerous, especially for a country that’s supposed to run on democracy. A study by the Washington Post showed that “roughly 43 percent of eligible voters didn’t bother filling out a ballot” for the 2016 election. To put that in perspective, 43 percent of the American voter population is 100 million people. 100 million people didn’t think their vote would make a difference, meaning 100 million people didn’t make their voices heard. 

Regardless of how you feel about the 2016 election’s end-result, the amount of people sitting back and passively allowing something as big as a new president to be determined by other people is way too large. 2020 is offering a new chance to change those numbers. If you’re old enough to vote and have any opinions about this country’s direction in the past four years, then get registered and make your voice heard! Last I checked, America was still a free country, and it’s important to take advantage of that for as long as we can. Whether by mail-in or driving down to the polls - just vote!

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