“My vote does not matter…”

In the fast pace and polarized views of the 21st century, it is easy for any member of the electorate to get bogged down by information and media releases that may make them feel as though their vote does not matter or their voice cannot be heard.

Regardless of party, and regardless of the level of politics you are referring to- YOUR VOTE MATTERS. You, as a member of the electorate in America, have been chosen to have your voice heard and presented by the candidate you feel represents you best. With this being the case, any time in which you allow others to stifle your voice or make you completely silent, you are releasing your given right.

At the age of 18, many young adults realize they can now purchase cigarettes and lottery tickets and that’s as far as they get, however becoming an informed and active member of the legislative process is essential to exercising your freedoms as an American.

2016 is one of the most dramatic election years for candidates, delegates, the electorate and the media that America has seen in a long time. Anyone paying attention to national elections can see the importance of being informed and voting their views. This practice is just as vital in local elections and even in organizations as “small-time” as UTM’s SGA election.

The Student Government Association at UTM literally exists for the student body, so choosing not to inform yourself about the candidates, their platform, leadership style and experience and then further choosing not to go vote, is a student literally deciding they do not care if their opinions are heard.

As a student, you may feel that the Student Government Association does not relate to you because you haven’t been to any meetings and you haven’t run for election. This train of thought is far from accurate because every meeting and every committee exists to target another sector of university life.

The SGA on campus makes it very easy to be informed of events. Legislation on the table is posted in the SGA office in the upstairs of the University Center, there are always senators and council members in the office willing to answer questions, their social media accounts are updated regularly with meeting times and events and thanks to the use of Periscope, students who cannot physically attend meetings can still be caught up on what’s happening.

For an organization making it very simple to stay informed, why do we have to make it so difficult to carry out our civic duty? Why do we push away people who are trying to defend our needs? Go to the debates. Go to senate meetings. Check your social media. Ask questions. Find a way to get informed, form opinions and then, for the love of independence, GO VOTE.

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