Hello and welcome to “Confessions of a First Time Voter”! This series of articles will be following me as I register to vote, research the issues, watch the debates, stumble about the election and campaigning, and ultimately cast my ballot, all as a first time voter. I will try my best to show both sides of an issue and will only reveal who I am voting for on the election day. But for now, here is the first installation! Please enjoy and comment.
Part I, Registering to Vote
Well, that was easy. I had been waiting for this moment for a long time, yet when it finally came, there was none of the pomp and circumstance that I was hoping for. Not that I was expecting a cake and balloons (though they would have been welcomed), but I was anticipating something a little more than just an old-fashioned looking webpage asking me to keep my receipt. Nevertheless, I am now a registered voter and will be mailing in my application for an absentee ballot on Monday! The registration process was much easier than I expected, just a few questions confirming that I am not a convicted felon and asking for my address. If the process was so simple, then why don’t more people register to vote? To answer this question, I did a little internet browsing. The main reasons I found why people should not vote; because it takes work, because voting helps to encourage a corrupt government, because only educated people should vote, and because individual votes do not matter. However, there are counterpoints to all of these arguments. First, it is very easy to register to vote (see above). Secondly, even if one does not agree with the government, voting is a right and a privilege that was granted only after many people fought and died for the issue. Thirdly, even though all people in America may not be educated on the issues, they are still the people of the country and should participate so the government can be one of the people, by the people, and for the people. And lastly, even though an individual vote may not sway the election, as Jeff Grundy on some random internet post said, “By voting we are expressing our views and opinions. We are stating what we think should happen in our future.” Isn’t that all that matters?