The Daily Aztec

Vote if you can, for those who can’t

by Shalika Oza, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It’s been a few days since the midterm elections, but I didn’t vote.

Not because I didn’t want to, but because I am not old enough.

Though I do believe that using your voice is a good thing, at this point using my voice feels pointless.

This is because I am 17, and as a result, my age restricts me from being able to use the one platform where my voice actually matters.

The most I was able to do was encourage others to vote, and tell others how I felt about certain ballot measures.

Having a voice and an opinion is amazing and all, but how much does it count if you can’t vote?

Not being able to vote, because of my age, is really disappointing.

And it sometimes sucks, even more, when almost everyone around you can.

Even more frustrating is when those who can vote choose not to.

Those who can vote are the ones that hold the power to change the direction our country is going in and when they choose not to vote society doesn’t progress any further.

A great example would be Democrats winning the House during this midterm election.

Voters showing up, and doing their due diligence helped democrats regain some control in the Trump administration.

Though this win may not necessarily carry over into future elections, the outcome of this specific election, and where the numbers fell, made it very apparent that voting really does matter

But, while it does irk me that people who could vote chose not to, at the same time I do understand why people don’t vote. Because of my inability to vote I’ve become a bit distanced from politics.

And as one can imagine, it’s hard to be politically uninvolved for a long period of time politics and then just jump right into the deep end the minute you’re eligible to vote.

So I do understand why new voters and voters who are generally unaware or inactive choose not vote.

I try to educate myself as much as I can but ultimately what good does just knowing where you stand do?

I can’t take my stance to the polls.

It really does feel like sometimes even talking about how I feel will do no good.

In another sense, not being able to vote is hard on me because everyone in my family is much older than I am and politics is a leading topic at many family gatherings.

Giving my input in these conversations is intimidating because many of my family members equate my liberal thinking to my age instead of attributing it to the research I’ve done, or the things I’ve experienced.

Though being on a college campus has given my political views more of a purpose, I don’t always feel as if I my thoughts add to any sort of productive conversation because I can’t actually vote.

What difference does it make if feel one way or another?

It certainly isn’t going to help pass a law I’m in favor of or help stop one that may be detrimental to society.

I completely understand the need for the age restrictions on voting; teenagers can be reckless.

And more often than not we are known to make some rash decisions.

But during times like these, when voting counts the most, not being able to vote is really frustrating.

Though I try to remain politically aware, I feel distanced from politics and voting as well.

It’s almost as if what is being voted on will not affect me. And though I know that this isn’t true, not being able to vote strengthens this sentiment.

However, I  completely understand that every decision society makes will have some sort of effect on me.

All I can do is hope that those who can vote, put their voices to use and create a world we can be proud to call our own.

And even though I was unable to vote in the election last week, I hope all those who were fortunate to participate did, and continue to do so.

Shalika Oza is a freshman studying journalism.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

Commenting on our site is a privilege. We want our readers to add their point of view to every story but ask that they keep their comments relevant to the topic at hand. We will remove comments and possibly ban users who do the following: (1) Use vulgar or racist language, (2) Threaten harm of any sort to staff, commenters or the subject of an article, and (3) Leave spam in their comment. If you have questions about these rules, please contact our Editor in Chief at: editor@thedailyaztec.com

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.