I Voted and I Got My Sticker


Melissa Sikes, Cactus Staff Writer

You walk into a room, sporting a polite smile. You show your ID to the volunteers and make your way down the line, receiving your ballot and an ink pen. You quickly make your way to an available booth and fill in your bubbles. You double check, because you do that sort of thing, and submit your ballot. You are on your way out, when you hear someone call after you. You turn and a sticker is being handed to you, “Have a nice day!”

It is amazing how such a simple thing as a sticker can mean so much. That “I Voted” sticker means you fulfilled your civic duty. You satisfied your responsibility to your nation.

Election Day has come and gone and hopefully the majority of those who voted are satisfied with the results. For those of you who didn’t vote, I am curious as to why not? “It’s that Electoral College man…They got all the power” OK. I get it. Our votes don’t matter, but that just isn’t the case.

Voting does matter. Our founding father left a monarchy to create a democracy where the voice of the people mattered. A land where the majority rules. We had to fight for this right that is so taken advantage of.

It was not a right that was given to us with no questions asked, unless you were a white male property owner. In which case, it was handed to you on a silver platter. The struggle was real. Minority males were given the right to vote soon afterwards and finally women were granted the privilege in 1920.

Years and years of protesting, laden with wins and losses, wasted on an apathetic generation. A generation that wants change, but doesn’t want to get off the couch to do anything about it. We have lost our fire.

I woke up at 6a.m., before my classes began, just so I could vote. So, I am sure it is understandable how I am irked by the excuses people make as to why they did not vote. “I have class,” “I have work,” “There just isn’t enough time in the day,” and, the all-time favorite, “It doesn’t matter anyway…” The list goes on and on. If you really don’t want to vote, just say so. Don’t waste your time and mine on nonsensical excuses. My mother has never missed an election since 1976, since she was first eligible to vote, so I know it isn’t impossible.

Voting is not a right to be taken lightly. So, get out there and register! You have two years to get it done.}