Why Should You Vote?

Many young people have the mind set that that they don't need to vote because election results don't affect them. What they don't realize is that almost every decision the government makes affects their lives in one way or another. Decisions about the economy can impact things like student loans and the number of jobs available when upon graduation. Lawmakers also have to power to raise and lower college tuition. Elections can also change things like national security and terrorism policies, which effect everyone. During wartime, casting a vote can mean changing your life or the lives of those around you who serve in the military. (5) Even issues such as Social Security have an impact on young people and their families. If your gradparents are living off Social Security money, any little change made by lawmakers can have a huge effect on their day to day life.

There have also been several instances throughout history where one vote was all that decided an election that affected millions. We all remember the Florida recounts from the 2000 Presidential election. Less than 600 votes seperated Bush and Kerry in the key state of Florida and the recounts decided the election for the whole country. Many still dispute the results to this day.

There are other recent examples of narrow victories and defeats. In 1997 Vermont State Representative Sydney Nixon thought he was the winner of his seat with a vote of 570-569. He was later forced to resign after a recount revealed that he actually lost to Robert Emond 572-571. Just one vote put Nixon in office and one vote took him out. (3) In 1994 a seat on the Wyoming House of Representatives was decided by pulling a pingpong ball out of a cowboy hat. Republican Randall Luthi and Independent Larry Call tied with 1,941 votes each. A recount confirmed the results. The State Canvassing Board decided the election by pulling a pingpong ball with Luthi's name on it out of the hat of Govenor Mike Sullivan. (3) If just one more person had voted in the election this could have been avoided.