Although I was born in the United States, I did not grow up with the tradition of voting. Voting was a “tradition” that I had to create for myself. Raised by a single mother with a green card meant that since my mother was not a citizen she did not have the right to vote.
As soon as I was eligible to vote, I registered. I can still remember the first time I voted and what it felt like. I did not expect it to be such an emotional experience, but it was. I felt overwhelmed with pride and gratitude and shed some discreet tears. I was thrilled that I had a say in the political process.
A few years ago, my mother became a citizen. After so many years of being a legal resident I asked her why she was finally choosing to become a citizen and she said it was because she wanted the right to vote and again I felt overwhelmed with pride and gratitude and shed some not discreet tears.
My mother and I do not always agree politically (in fact we often disagree), but we do agree that we should exercise our right to vote, our right to be heard even when it seems like our individual voices don’t make much of a difference, even when we are exasperated by the results.
When it comes to politics and the government, I do not pretend to have a lot of answers, but I do have a lot of questions and it is these questions that keep me voting. Questions like:
- What is the point of a democracy if those that have the right to vote do not exercise their right?
- Will a democracy survive without active participation?
- Do I have a right to complain if I do not exercise that right at the polls?
- If I do not use my vote, does that give more power to those that do use their vote?
I could go on and on, but recently I have found two more reasons to vote that are not questions.
My two newest reasons for voting are my daughters. I want to have a say in their future locally and nationally; I am more invested in the political process because of them; and I want them to grow up with the tradition of voting. When they are old enough to vote, I want them to know that their vote matters, I want them to feel invested and entitled, I want them to be a part of the process. I already take them to the polls with me and give them my “I Voted” stickers.
Are you registered to vote? If you are AWESOME, please make sure that you cast your vote. If you are not registered to vote, but have the right to do so please please please follow the links below and get yourself registered and then when the time comes…VOTE!
Disclosure: Although this post is sponsored by #LATISM, all statements and opinions are mine.