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I have a voice, I want to use it

Staff+writer+Anika+Arutla+talks+about+the+history+of+voting+and+her+excitement+about+voting.+Political+signs+are+lined+along+the+road+to+Coppell+Town+Center+for+upcoming+midterm+election+on+Nov.+9.+
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I have a voice, I want to use it

Staff writer Anika Arutla talks about the history of voting and her excitement about voting. Political signs are lined along the road to Coppell Town Center for upcoming midterm election on Nov. 9.

Staff writer Anika Arutla talks about the history of voting and her excitement about voting. Political signs are lined along the road to Coppell Town Center for upcoming midterm election on Nov. 9.

Bren Fletchner

Staff writer Anika Arutla talks about the history of voting and her excitement about voting. Political signs are lined along the road to Coppell Town Center for upcoming midterm election on Nov. 9.

Bren Fletchner

Bren Fletchner

Staff writer Anika Arutla talks about the history of voting and her excitement about voting. Political signs are lined along the road to Coppell Town Center for upcoming midterm election on Nov. 9.

By Anika Arutla, Coppell High School

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Change. That is what I think about when I think about voting. It is common misconception that one vote, among millions, is not worth anything – that it is a simple raindrop in the middle of the vast ocean.

Millions of those raindrops make up the ocean; similarly, my vote, even though it might not seem so, makes up the ocean which is the government that runs this country.

As a young child, voting felt restricted to the wise elders who came from families that lived in America for generations, because it was their country, not my country. In addition, my parents did not become citizens of the United States until right before the 2016 Presidential Election and so to me, voting never seemed real. I was born an American citizen but I never truly understood what that meant until my parents became American citizens, too.

My uncle received his citizenship first, so when my parents got theirs, he kept urging them to vote. My parents felt the same way as me – why was it so important?

That infamous 2016 Presidential Election between current President Donald Trump and former first lady Hillary Clinton changed everything. My political innocence snapped because it was evident to me both of these candidates were not fit for the job.

I spent that chilly election day with my best friend at her house with the intentions of studying for a biology test. In reality, we chugged down food in the living room as we nervously watched the TV.

The day after, when I awoke to the news that Trump had won, I could not believe it. So, I turned to statistics. Fifty-eight percent of total eligible voters went to the polls to vote. That same election, only 46.1 percent 18-29 year-olds voted.

That is when I identified the problem; it became clear who is running this country and why.

Millennials complain about our president and this country almost as much as those who are not eligible to vote and yet, the majority of them did not even vote.

How can change occur if no one is willing to put in the effort to make it happen?

The excuse that your opinion and voice does not matter is not credible because when former president Barack Obama ran and won the election. Four years later, he was reelected. He is the first black president after 43 white males. Statistics show that 55.4 percent of blacks aged 18-24 voted while 49.4 percent of whites aged 18-24 voted. The statistics for 25-44 year olds were starkly similar with more blacks coming out to vote.

Change starts with you and me before it blossoms into something bigger. As the younger generation, it is our duty to stand up for what we want as citizens of this country. As I am nearing the frightful yet promising age of 18, my patience is waning.

This story was originally published on Coppell Student Media on November 6, 2018.

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