You’ve likely heard the speech I’m about to give before.
You might’ve heard it from your high school teachers, your college professors or even from your fellow students.
Point is, you’re about to hear it again.
Because no matter how redundant it may seem to some, the subject of the speech is of such a vital matter that it deserves to be shouted from the rooftops, again and again.
Today, we’re going to be talking about your right to vote, and how you can register to vote.
I know what you’re thinking right now: “But Anthony, wasn’t National Voter Registration Day yesterday?”
Well, yes, it was.
National Voter Registration Day might’ve technically been yesterday, but silly things like deadlines and timing have never stopped me from getting on my soapbox.
Now that we’ve disposed of that little inconsistency, we need to talk about the heart of the matter.
Your right to vote is the most important right you have.
It is the right that all the rest ultimately come back to.
It is a right that allows you to help change the course of society.
It is a right that lets you express the kind of society you want to create.
Some say that voting is useless.
Others say it takes too long to register.
The former is wrong for several reasons.
The first, and most pressing, is that some elections do come down to single votes.
Especially at the local level, where not as many people are able to participate.
The second reason this mentality is wrong is because it views voting as a singular activity. It’s not.
It’s not just your single vote that matters, it is the votes of those you can mobilize.
It’s one thing to vote by yourself; it’s another to drag your friends and family to the ballot box.
The second is wrong in that it assumes registering to vote is some kind of months-long commitment, like getting a driver’s license.
It’s not. Registering to vote nowadays only takes a few hours.
On top of that, Pennsylvania has online voter registration.
Of course, the most important reason to vote is that it’s the most direct way to change the world in which we currently live.
And I know that most of you want to change this world for the better.
Hardly any of us are satisfied with the way things currently are.
Statistically speaking, only 16 percent of you actually approve of the job Congress is doing.
Truth is, you can post on Twitter about how awful (and make no mistake, it is awful), the current political situation is all you want. If you don’t vote, nothing will change.
And if nothing changes, if the current status quo holds, things will get worse.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from studying American politics, it is that things can always get worse.
On top of that, it’s important to vote in all elections, not just the big ones.
There is an election, a major one, just over a month away.
Make no mistake, the midterm elections this year are pivotal for everybody.
It may not be a presidential election, but it may as well be as important as one.
Imagine a big news story in American politics from the past few months that is still ongoing.
There is a near 100 percent change that the ending of that story will be determined purely though this upcoming midterm election.
And going down to the local level, local elections are everything.
They may not be anywhere near as flashy as something like a presidential election, but they make all the difference.
The effect that local elections have in your life cannot be understated.
They impact everything you see around you in your daily life, just maybe not in ways that are as visible as we are used to.
Ultimately, your right to vote is vital to everything.
Don’t let it go to waste just because it takes some time to register.
It only takes a bit of a time to exercise the most important of all your rights.