VOICES: Why I Vote

Category:  Opinions
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 at 9:14 AM
VOICES: Why I Vote by The Spectator
Graphic: Jacob Brooks

According to a census analysis by Brookings, a research center in Washington, D.C., the “combined millennial, Gen Z, and younger generations numbered 166 million as of July 2019, or 50.7% of the nation’s population — larger than 162 million Americans associated with the combined Gen X, baby boomer, and older cohorts.” With that, millennial, Gen Z, and younger generations make up 37% of eligible voters. But the trends show that young people are the least likely group of people to go out and get to the polls. The Spectator is a college paper, run entirely by millennials and Gen Z. We understand that it’s important to vote, and here’s why.

Emma McNeeley, News Editor
18, Freshman

— Voted in person in the primaries and will be doing the same on Nov. 3.

This will be my second time voting, and I vote because I care about my rights and my friends' rights in the LGBTQ+ community. I also vote to protect other people’s chances to come here for a better life and for others to be able to afford to live and work, especially during a pandemic. I vote to make sure that this country can improve for the sake of my future and the future for my younger siblings.

Emily Anderson, Voices Editor
21, Senior

— Early voting in-person in New York state.

As someone who believes in equal rights with every fiber of their being, it’s important to ensure that those in power believe the same. Leaders who don't want the best for all people are ineffective and unworthy. I want to make sure this country’s leaders have everyone’s best interests in mind, even those who are unable to vote. I also want to honor the men and women who fought tooth and nail for their vote. So many people laid down their lives just to be able to cast a ballot, and if I don’t cast mine, that’s an injustice to them. 

Hazel Modlin, Arts Editor
19, Junior

— First time voting in a national election and will be voting in-person because of all the uncertainty floating around regarding the mail-in ballots, I wanted to make sure my vote was counted.

Since I only turned 18 last year, this is my first time voting for the presidential elections, even though I have previously voted in local elections. I will be voting in-person in 2020 because I believe it is important. The suffrage movement, which granted me the right to vote, lasted for almost 100 years. If I were to forgo my vote, if for some reason I thought that my vote didn’t matter, I would be throwing away years of suffragists’, reformers’, and activists’ lives who came before me. Their sacrifices would be for nothing. My vote gives me a voice in what my country stands for, and that voice is one many American citizens are still lacking. America has done terrible things in its past, and it continues to make questionable choices today, but those choices can only be changed if the average voter, me, recognizes those flaws and votes for change. 

Jacob Brooks, Social Media Team
18, Freshman
— Voted in-person for the first time in the primaries in June, will be doing the same for this election.

I am voting this year because it is the first general election where I'm able to do so. I cast my very first vote this past June in the PA Primary. I believe it is my civic duty to vote, especially for those who can’t, whether they are too young, ineligible, or simply can’t get to a polling place. There is too much on the line not to vote. I am passionate about certain issues and my vote reflects that. I want to do my part to try and elect a candidate that reflects my views. I think voting is crucial to our democracy, and I’m so thankful we live in a country that allows us to freely vote for who we choose. 

Julia Carden, Staff Writer & Social Media Team
19, Sophomore

— First time voting and mailed in ballot.

I am voting this year because this election is crucial to many current social justice issues. I am voting because I believe in women’s rights and equality for all. My generation now has a voice that we did not have before, directly tied to decisions that will affect our lives and so many others. I believe all Americans should fulfill their civic duty and take advantage of the right we have to use our voice. If you really want change, you must do all you can to support that. I believe voting is an important step to change.

Thomas Taylor, Staff Writer
22, Senior

— Voting by mail for this election.

I am voting because it's important to have a voice in our future and to ensure these freedoms for future generations. We need to stand up as a society against hatred and have basic human decency and kindness for all. We have a responsibility to uplift and listen to BIPOC and LGTBQ+ voices. And we have an obligation to address climate change and environmental protections. By voting, we are taking steps to making our world a better place, and a welcoming neighborhood for all. Be the neighbors Mister Rogers wanted us to be, and vote for a better future.    

Kimberly Firestine, Executive Editor
28, Graduate Student

Voting is essential to assure a better future for not only ourselves but the generations to come. Having the chance to help instill real change toward a cleaner planet and more equal existence between its peoples is why I vote. We need better protections for our BIPOC communities, all people deserve bodily autonomy, and anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to marry whichever gender or gender-free person they fall in love with. The world is constantly changing, and we need policy that allows us to adapt, and we need minds in office that allow us to grow, instead of fall back into our old ways as a country.

Teddy Rankin, Staff Writer
22 , Sophomore 
— Voting in-person for this election.  

I am a cancer survivor. My Dad is a cancer survivor. An estimated 1.8 million people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer this year while over 600,000 will die from it. While serving as vice president, Joe Biden’s son, Beau, passed away due to a brain tumor. Joe Biden knows this struggle firsthand and has backed up his words with action. As VP, Biden made the Cancer Moonshot initiative a priority and continued this important work through a nonprofit group after he left office. While president, Trump threatens to remove ACA protections from millions of Americans; people continuing to battle cancer and other medical conditions will be considered to have pre-existing conditions. I vote because healthcare is a human right.

Sam Bohen, Staff Writer
26, Senior

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” 

Those words were spoken by then-candidate Barack Obama on the presidential campaign trail in 2008. Obama was speaking on the nature of change in America, and how voters cannot wait for someone else to come in and save the day. Voters are the ones who will make the change they want to see in this country.

I encourage everyone to vote this year because it is the only way we can make change. In fact, it is the only way that democracy can work. Only when we, the people, go out and make our voices heard do we get to see the results we have been lobbying for.  

I do not care who you vote for, but I do care that everyone does their civic duty and votes. This election season presents new challenges to our democracy: between the pandemic, foreign interference and doubt being cast on the results. But I have the utmost faith in our democracy and I hope you do too.  

Make a plan. Get your friends, families and neighbors. Cast your vote and make your voice heard.  

Because we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. And change starts with us.

The Spectator can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com. We ask you to vote this Election Day.

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