ENG 102 – 33 MW 6:00 p.m.
12 May 2014
A Privilege, Not A Promise
In the United States of America, turning 18 years old comes with many privileges. You can now purchase tobacco products, legally enter a bar and hang out there, get into rated R movies without your parents, but most importantly you can now vote. Growing up with a history teacher for a mother I have heard over and over again how we have a right to vote and we should take advantage of it but I never truly knew how important it was until I of age to vote. When I turned 18 years old my mother and I made sure the first thing I did was register to vote since the big presidential election was right around the corner. I was so excited and talked to my family and friends about it but for some reason people didn’t seem as interested as I did. I believe voting nowadays is not taken as serious as it was 20 years ago. We are now in the 21st century where important things, like voting, just aren’t dealt with the way they should be. I believe citizens should be required by law to vote because hundreds of years ago our ancestors fought for the right to vote, it would make citizens more aware of the problems in our country today, and this enforcement would give a more accurate result on the feelings of all citizens in an election.
Today’s society puts off voting like it is not a big deal or like it’s a hassle to them. Many do not realize what the past history of the voting rights were and what people before our time had to go through for us to have this privilege. Voting was not just made up overnight and we certainly were not promised this right from the beginning of time. The very first sign of voting was from the Declaration of Independence that limited voting to land owners only way back in 1776. Through the times of slavery and immigration the right to vote was restricted to only “free white” male immigrants. Also, females were not allowed to vote until the 19th Amendment passed, giving women the right to vote in both state and federal elections. This history just proves to us how harsh the past was. Finally between 1963 and 1964 the United States of America declared voting rights as civil rights. President Richard Nixon once said, “The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has opened participation in the political process.” (Timeline). A long way we had to come for every American citizen to be able to vote. Many Americans do not realize that voting shapes our government and can change our country. Just as Jennifer McFadyen says, “Wars are fought and lives are lost to preserve and establish democratic governments.” (McFadyen). America is one of the only countries in the world that has the freedom to vote with a democracy government. In today’s society we are constantly mislead and told false information about politics and our own government. While technology is helping our society advance in a positive way it sometimes hurts us with the false information it can provide. From false information many Americans are lead to not trust our government when they should not trust their source from which they collected their information. If citizens were required by law to vote it would make citizens open their eyes and they would be more aware of the true problems in our country today. Many Americans only pay attention to the major problems this country faces when it affects them drastically. If voting was required I feel that citizens would pay more attention to the news and newspapers that provide information that would help them. Citizens nowadays like to complain about our government when they aren’t even taking advantage of their right to vote. While American citizens are given false information our very own government is being mislead about what the citizens want. The people’s opinions form our government through voting. This enforcement of voting would give a more accurate result on the feelings of all citizens in an election. If everyone is...
Cited: McFadyen, Jennifer. "Why Should I Vote? - Why Naturalized Citizens Should Vote in Elections." About.com Immigration Issues. About.com, n.d. Web. 11 May 2014. .
"Timeline: A History of the Voting Rights Act." American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2014.
"Top 10 Reasons." Top 10 Reasons. Douglas County Clerk, 2014. Web. 11 May 2014. .
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