By Lauren Rust

Why do you vote?

Do you vote because it is cool or because your friends do? Do you vote because our parents or grandparents forced you into it? Do you vote because you don’t want to keep lying to your government professor, when secretly, you are not even registered?

I hope the answer to all three of those questions is no, but I guess at least that means you are voting.

Well then, why should we vote other than to stay on our parent’s good side?

In my opinion, we should vote because we are given the right and duty to do so.

According to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, during the 2012 election only 57.5% of eligible citizens voted.

This percent is a decrease from previous elections.

Here in the United States, we are allowed to peacefully protest, we are allowed freedom of the press, which allows me to write this column, and yes, we are allowed to vote.

According to George Jean Nathan, co-founder of “The American Spectator,” a magazine covering news and politics, “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.”

Voting allows us to have a say in who can represent us on a local, state, and national level.

If we do not vote, then how can we become angry when the government makes decisions that we do not like?

That’s right, we can’t get angry, or at least we shouldn’t. If one person had voted differently, maybe things would be the other way around.

That vote could be you and here you are sitting here complaining about how things are not going your way.

Politics and the government effect our everyday life.

If you have a park next to your house, you can thank your local parks department. If you receive federal aid for school, you can thank the U.S. Department of Education.

If you have a car with a valid tag on it, thank the tag department at the courthouse.

This is why we should vote. With the right people in these government positions, our country can become even better.

So it is time for you to step up and vote. If you already do, I personally thank you for utilizing a right that some people are not able to have.

I also challenge you to bring your friends along and tell them why voting is vital to our society.

If you do not vote, I encourage you to not only begin to vote, but to vote wisely.

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