• spwatts16

Voting: Is it Important or Not?

Voting: Is it important or not?

Is voting important? That is a question that has been debated among people for generations. Most see voting as important and a way to make your voice heard; others don’t see the point, thinking, “why should I vote, it’s not like my vote does anything.” This debate is not something that is new to Greenwood. There have been many circumstances where eligible students don’t register to vote because they just don’t care or they don’t think there is a point to it. I took a survey of 51 students, with help from some of the teachers at the school, that asked one simple question: Is voting important or not? The results are shown in the pie chart below.

Seeing this, I decided to ask a few teachers to comment on their opinion of the importance of voting. I asked Mrs. Pedrick, Mrs. Brummer, Mr. Tomko, and Mrs. Novinger “is voting important, and why”. Here are their responses:

Mrs. Pedrick: “It’s important because it’s a right we have as American citizens and we should exercise that right. I also don’t believe people should complain about things in our country if they’re not exercising that right.”

Mrs. Brummer: “Yes, otherwise you have no reason to complain about something if you didn’t spread your voice about topics or who you want to be your leader”

Mr. Tomko: “Yes, it’s very important because it’s how you have a say in the government. If you don't, you're allowing other people to take control of your government.”

Mrs. Novinger: “Well yes, because voting is your opportunity to stand up for important issues or issues that you care about to do your part in representing those issues.”

Mrs. Woodard: “Yes! Voting is VERY important to the proper function and democratic values of our nation. Voting is perhaps one of the MOST valuable civic duties in our country today.”

One question that many young people ask is, “why would I vote, my one vote doesn’t matter.” I asked Mrs. Woodard, one of the government teachers at Greenwood, how she would respond if a student said this about voting. Her response was, “I would stress to this student that a single vote CAN be the difference that changes the outcome of an election. One specific example I give each year to illustrate the importance of a single vote is the Presidential Election of 2000 between Al Gore and George W. Bush. That election essentially came down to one state (Florida) and roughly 500 votes! Out of 6 million votes cast…the election came down to almost 500!! If those 500 citizens had believed their vote did not matter, then our nation’s history would have changed forever!”

So we see that many, if not all, of the faculty at Greenwood believe voting is important and wish to express the value of voting to their students. So why am I bringing voting up? Well, Tuesday, May 17th is the primary election. This year, Pennsylvania is voting on a candidate for both the Republican and Democratic parties for Governor, as Tom Wolf’s second term ends at the completion of 2022. We are also voting on state and federal congress members. Seniors old enough can vote in this election!

The following are the candidates from each party for the Governor election:

Republican: Jake Corman, Douglas Mastriano, Louis Barletta, David White, Joseph Gale, William McSwain, Melissa Hart, Charles Gerow, and Nche Zama

Democratic: Josh Shapiro

If you are voting, I encourage you to look into the candidates you think you may support. Look at your views and how their views line up. Don’t just vote for someone because that's who your parents or friends are voting for. Make your own decisions. As many teachers have stated, voting is your opportunity to take a stance and choose a government official that you think will best support your views. Make the choice to help your government! See you at the ballot box!

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