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This, of course, is a matter of opinion. In my opinion, the only reason that it is important for any individual to vote is that voting is a way of showing your commitment to the democracy that you live in. Other than that, there is no reason.
In truth, there is practically no chance that your vote will ever decide an election unless you live in a very small town and are voting for city council or something. Above that, even close elections are typically decided by a few thousand votes. So there must be some other reason why it is important to vote.
To me, voting is a sign that you believe in your democracy and that you feel that it is a worthwhile and important thing. Therefore, every time you vote, it is like you are declaring that you believe in your country.
In a country where every voice can be heard, those who vote ensure that in at least this one way, their voices are heard. In America, we do allow each person the right to vote unless they have done something which would cause them to lose that right (as in felony crimes). Even more importantly, men and women over the years have sacrificed everything to ensure we continue to have that freedom.
Our government is supposed to represent us; if we don't express our wishes about who we want representing us and about the proposed laws and changes to laws, we will not be represented as intended. A vote is a powerful form of expression and power. The truth is that we are rarely asked our wishes or opinions about things that matter; when we are asked to voice our wishes, we should do so--or perhaps people will quit asking.
Why I think it is important to vote is because only if you have played your part in the democratic process do you have any right to comment on the actions that the politicians in power are taking.
If you do not vote, you lose the power to say anything about the way your city's mayor is doing nothing about cleaning up the mess in your neighborhood or that the President is increasing taxes and using it to fund a war in Iraq that you believe serves no purpose.
I know that one of the realities about democracy is that one vote given by someone based perhaps just on the fact that the candidate is not colored can easily nullify your vote given to another candidate with your spending a lot of time analyzing the policies of all those who stood for elections; and you aren’t even sure that if the person whom you voted for wins, he / she is going to stick to his/ her initial commitments.
But it is sure worth the effort and justifies missing a few hours of doing your favorite recreational activity.
A representative democracy by nature requires movement, motion, activity or any adjective of similar definition. A government enforced by the consent of the governed must never lay back and think their needs will be attended to, cause they won't be. Representative democracy only works for people when they get off their butt. It is important to vote because it activates the democratic process. Voting is power, and to those who believe it is trivial or inconsequential I say...to sustain freedom is to engage in it as well as those who would seek to restrict it. To accomplish this is to VOTE!!!! over and over and over....
In a democracy we have to remember that people have died and fought for the right for all citizens in that democracy to vote. Therefore, even if you only vote by spoiling your ballot paper, it is vitally important to participate in the mechanics of democracy to recognise the tremendous sacrifice and effort of some of our descendants for whom this right was forbidden.
In my home state of Washington in 2004, Governor Christine Gregoire won by a mere 129 votes out of 2.7 million cast, and on the third recount. In 2000, President George W. Bush won by a mere 537 votes. In local elections, which actually have more impact on your day to day life, the results are more likely to be close. Contrary to many people's thinking, your vote DOES count.
Many people feel that they are just a drop of water in a large ocean, and there is no point in voting. However there is power in numbers. Voting is also an important part of the democratic process. People feel more involved in their country if they vote. All of those votes add up, and elections can be won or lost on just a few votes.
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