Your vote does count
You may be asking yourself, "Why should I bother to vote? Does my vote count? It's not likely that there's going to be a tie and my vote will be the deciding vote. The same people will win whether I vote or not. So why should I vote?" These are good questions, and it is true that the chances of breaking a tie are not good. But there are other reasons to vote and your vote counts in ways you never thought of.
The government doesn't know who you voted for, but they do know whether or not you voted. They track information for statistical purposes to determine how many young people are voting as compared to other age groups. That way politicians know what age groups to target in order to win elections. The fact that you even voted adds one vote to the number of young people who participated.
Old people are the most reliable voters. They have the highest percentage of voters of any age group. And because of that, old people get what they want. If you're running for public office, you better be protecting the interests of old people because old people will vote you out. On the other hand, young people don't vote in large numbers and it's not worth a politicians time to put a lot of effort in courting the young vote. Not that youth isn't important, but if politician A focuses on the young voters and politician B focuses on the old voters, politician B wins, because old people turn out. Turn out is very important because the people who turn out and vote are the ones that rule. If you don't turn out, you lose.
If you show up and vote, and get your friends to show up and vote, you are doing a service to the interests of young people, even if you vote for the wrong person. I wouldn't worry too much about voting for the wrong person the first time. Like I said, it's not likely your vote will be the deciding vote. But if a lot of young people show up and vote, the politicians will get the message that young people are a political force to be reckoned with. The needs of the youth will become more important to elected officials. They'll be more interested in what you need if you turn out to vote.
Even registering to vote sends a message. The government collects statistics on what age groups are registered to vote. If you are registered you become a potential voter. When the word gets out that record numbers of young people are registering to vote, politicians will get the message and will be more interested in what's important to young people. It helps you and young people everywhere if you register to vote.
What kind of difference will it make? Suppose a politician is thinking about a big tax cut for the rich and funding it by cutting school loan programs. They look at the old rich voters who vote and give money as opposed to kids who don't show up and vote. That makes them think about taking your school money and giving it to the fat cats. If an honest politician runs against them supporting education and the future of America, the honest politician loses to the crook and the fat cats. Why? Because you didn't show up to vote. By just showing up you change the percentage of young voters and get them more interested in your ideas and opinions.
This world isn't a fair world. If you want to get what you want you have to go out and go after it. You can't count on "them" taking care of you. So if you want to make a difference and be somebody, get registered, and go vote.
Being Politically Effective
Many young people wonder, "What can one person do?" You would be amazed by what one person can do if you're willing to get involved. One person, you, can make all the difference by being in the right place at the right time and saying the right thing. You can change the world and make this world a better place. All you have to do is learn how to be politically effective. And if you look over my web site, you'll get an idea how this is done.
Again, the first step is to register to vote and show up to vote on election day. That get's you in the process. But there are several other things you can do to. Politicians travel a lot and come to your town. When they do, go there and meet them. When you meet them, tell them what your interested in. Sometimes they actually listen. If you want to be in the right place, go to where the people who are elected are.