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A Vote is a Terrible Thing to Waste

By Joe Suszczynski

If you are 18-years-old and a citizen of the United States, the government deems you eligible to vote. Voting is done at the local, state and national level.

This is a presidential election, which means that people will be voting for either the re-election of Barack Obama or voting in former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. There are also smaller third party candidates like former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who is the Libertarian Party nominee. Third parties in America are not as prominently represented, unlike some countries in Europe.

I’ve been a registered voter since 2008 and I feel it’s my duty to vote because I have that right as an American. I do not wish to waste it or take it for granted.

There are , however, people who are registered voters or people who aren’t registered and say that their vote doesn’t matter. That statement has become cliché and is infuriating. According to a poll in August by the USA Today/ Suffolk University 41 percent of  800 adults said that their vote would not make a difference.

According to Susan Page, who wrote the article in the USA Today, it is estimated that 90 million people will not be voting. That’s about the population of California, Texas, New York, Washington and Wyoming combined. That is a ghastly amount of people to not vote. It’s that type of figure that can tip the favor of an election.

People may claim their vote doesn’t count because they live in a state that is predominantly the opposite of their political beliefs.

A solution would be to eliminate the Electoral College all together and just have the popular vote be the deciding factor. It is called the “popular” vote, so why not use it to decide on who is going to be the leader of the free world?

According to some speculators the electoral college might be Obama’s ticket into staying in the White House for another four years. There have been cases where one candidate won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College. The 2000 election is the most recent and famous case where it was between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

It’s your duty as an American to vote. You have a luxury that many other people in other parts of the world do not have. Some people don’t have the right to vote. Those people are being denied their rights to participate in an election, while you are just taking your right for granted.

You should also familiarize yourself when it comes to certain issues and where a candidate stands on them. Don’t go out to vote just to vote, inform yourself. You cannot be simply apathetic to politics in this day and age. As much as you say politics doesn’t take part in your life, it does.

It doesn’t matter who you support; vote who best represents you and your values. But at least have the intellect to be informed about the issues before going out to vote.

Your vote counts!