Editorial: Why voting matters

By Arlette Carino ’21, Iker Gomez ’20, and The Pritzker Press Editorial Board

The right to vote is one of the most important privileges that people have. In the early years of America, only white men had a say in what affected everyone; however, in this day and age, everyone who is of age 18 or older and a U.S. citizen can now vote. If you have this right, take advantage of it. It has allowed people to make changes in the way laws affect them. 

For example, when electing the mayor for Chicago, Lori Lightfoot was chosen because she knew Chicago needed renovation. In her first 100 days, she signed an executive order aimed at limiting the alderman’s power wielding in city departments. Now, this is just one example of what she has done for Chicago. Casting a ballot is the opportunity for us to have a voice in our nation. The people in power were chosen by society as representatives of the United States. We write this article in hopes that you also understand what it means to vote.

Even if you are not of age, you can still be informed of what is happening around us. The younger part of the population who can not vote go on protests for what they believe in. Turning out and showing the public that young people do care is important. Multiple candidates running for office have websites that explain their purpose. It is very important to be well educated in who we are voting for because our choices now define the future for the following generations.

The presidential election is not the only important election. There are in state elections for governor and mayor. There is always something going on in the community in Illinois, and one should have a voice in it. It is important to vote in every election since not every state believes in the same ideas. Voting allows the government to receive a census on what America will look like and what people believe in. The census provides information on what people are looking for in a candidate and what laws they want to change.

There are two main parties that vary in beliefs. The Democratic party strives to support a more equal American liberalism and progressive society, support easy access to health care, and also supporting minority groups and helping lower-income families. In our opinion, we support the Democratic side as their viewpoints are similar to what we believe in, and overall, their stance is very good. 

On the flip side, the Republican party is usually against what the Democratic party is for. The major issues where the Republicans and Democrats differ on are taxes, healthcare, gun control, immigration, and environmental policy and regulation. Wherever you stand, please make sure you are educated and understand that your vote WILL make a change in people’s lives.

If you are of age or will be of age and are registered to vote then here’s information on how you are able to vote. In Illinois, polls are open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. The Primary Election in Illinois is March 17. If you are flexible with time then there are plenty of hours to vote. Even if you aren’t registered, you can register and vote on the same day, which is great. Keep in mind to bring a state ID or any form of identification. There are some downsides to this though. For example, whenever you enter the polls, always keep in mind that your vote matters, so vote! However because voting is important, 38 states implemented a system called Early Voting. The name is self-explanatory, it is when people can vote prior to an election. It begins 40 days before an election and it is something that you can take advantage of during elections. There are also plenty of voting locations that you can go to once it is time to vote. In the 2016 election, the youth vote increased from 18% to 26% in Illinois. It’s best to take advantage of these places when you can, and it’s important to remember that your vote matters. 

Sadly, if you are not a US citizen you cannot vote; however, if you are a US citizen you should vote. Many students in the Pritzker community don’t have the right to do so. About 20% of seniors that meet the age criteria don’t have citizenship status needed to vote, and you have the power and the voice to help them. `

Now, Senior to Senior, Senior to Junior, Junior to Senior or Junior to Junior, We believe it is important to vote. We are coming to an age where we can finally have a say in our elections. Some people may say that their vote won’t matter since so many people are voting. One out of all Americans won’t say anything. What we say to those people is this, you are not the only person who believes in change. Out of all the 50 states in America, many people will think the same way you do. Believe in change for the future, stand up for what you believe in and go vote. Inform others that voting holds importance in our democracy. If we don’t vote, we express the idea that we don’t care what happens to the people. If you can vote, you have a voice!

We are allowed to have a voice in our country, which is really awesome to think about. Maybe voting can help you and many other people who do not have a voice yet. Just one vote is enough, and we should do the right thing and go vote once we become of age. There’s a chance that many other people share similar viewpoints as you do and if you vote, you might get what you want for this country- but it’s only if you vote. That being said, hopefully,  this was enough to convince you to vote. I mean, if you vote, you receive a cool “I Voted” pin that you can wear around and show the public that you voted. To promote voting, you can post about the topic on social media and encourage others. Many ways to do this are posting on social media to vote. Many public figures usually inform their young fans to vote and its importance. For example, Taylor Swift stated, in 2018, that people “have to go and make a change by voting, and today is your opportunity to do that.” Social media stars know the importance and want others to know as well. 

Some people may say voting is not worth it because of the Electoral College. The Electoral College is a board of representatives of each state. These representatives each have a vote in who the next president will be. The candidate who gets more than half of the votes (270) becomes the next president. Illinois has 20 electoral votes. Citizens decide who they want to represent the state. By voting, you are letting them know who they should vote for. They vote for who the people chose. Only five candidates have lost the presidential election even though they had the popular vote. Meaning the popular vote has won 40 times. The electors, appointed by the states, are there to vote for the candidate their citizens have supported.

Voting is completing a civic duty which is pretty nice to think about. Overall, voting is important and your vote most definitely matters. Complete your duty once it’s time to vote. It really matters, and once you do, you can say to others “I Voted”. Make sure you tell others when and where you can vote and why it is important to do so. Have a conversation with others about voting, or talk to your teachers or any adult. Recently there was a slide shown on the TVs on why teachers believe it is important. The United States prides itself on democracy. What are we if someone else makes the decision for us? We must practice democracy in order to strive as a country. What does it say about those who can help and choose not to?

  • If you are not registered, talk to Ms. Curtin and register today!
  • Find your early voting location
  • Here you can find out who is running and for what party. This website also helps you to see what they want to change.
  • This website provides candidates information to match your beliefs, to candidates, based on the 2020 issues

https://www.reformforillinois.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/IllinoisVoterProject2016.pdf

https://www.census.gov/newsroom/blogs/random-samplings/2017/05/voting_in_america.html