The Importance of Voting

by Vanessa Arieno on October 30, 2016

Hello, NU students!

How many of us feel as if this election year has become a joke or it's divided us from our friends and family?

How many of us feel there is no reason to take part in voting?

Today, I want to talk to you all about the importance of voting. I understand some of us might think this election year is crazy and there isn't a reason to take part in the voting process, but I want to help you see how important it is that we do take part.

I can't count on both hands how many times i have overheard students argue over each candidate for reasons that aren't exactly what we should be paying attention to when deciding who to vote for. This arguing then turns into people feeling ashamed or scared to voice who they are leaning toward. This debate has become a barrier between friends and family and it has taken over all social media.

I want to encourage everyone to take a step back and remember that whoever a friend or family member is voting for does not give us a reason to dislike them based on their opinion. It is great that our NU community is discussing such an important issue going on in our country, but it's not great when it causes us to turn away from each other.

I want to stress on you all how important it is that we do vote. We all have a voice that needs to be expressed and what better way to do that than by voting for our country's next president?

The deadline to register to vote has passed but for those who are registered, you have a week to decide if you are going to vote and who you are going to vote for.

If you are undecided on what to do when Nov. 8 comes, do your homework. Research each candidate. What views do both of you share and what laws or organizations do you and each candidate support?

Look past the faces we see on camera and look at what each candidate has accomplished over the years. So much has been accomplished over the years in society: The LGBTQ community has equal marriage laws, Women have fought for their right to vote, African-Americans have fought for equality, those who are mentally ill have access to the proper medications and medical attention they need - the list goes on.

Find which candidate you think will continue to improve our country and if a friend or family member disagrees with you, then that is okay. We have the right to freedom of speech. Every one of us has the right to say what we feel when it comes to this election and publicly disagreeing on these issues shows the freedom our country has fought for over the years. 

So, please, get out there and research the facts. Research the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. What do you and each candidate support when it comes to our country?

If you and someone you care about disagree on who to vote for, don't become angry at that person. Instead, try to understand where they are coming from, accept it and move on. We have won our right to voice our opinions and I hope that you all understand this and take the time to see how serious it is to vote in this election.

Vote for what you believe and vote for the changes you want to see. Our country is not perfect by any means, but this is your time to do something about it. This is your time to carry a role in our society. Voting is not only our right, but it's a responsibility we are born with, so why wouldn't you vote?

You have an opportunity to help change our country and it's in the palm of your hands. Take on your role as an American and get out and do your part as a citizen of this amazing country we live in.