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Do not let your vote go to waste, cast a ballot today. 

Opinion by Savannah Simmons, Managing Editor 

The night before the election, there was a question on my mind and it was not “who will be the next president,” it was “has everyone, that can, voted?” 

There is no reason not to vote in one of the most important elections in recent history. Voting is the most direct way for Americans to have a say in what they want from a government, and who they want in charge of it. It is a chance to be heard and have a hand in changing the government for the better. A government where the people matter, are taken care of and are equal. 

By now, everyone knows that a nonvote is a vote for Trump, so  anyone choosing not to vote, is making their position clear. Nonvoters must acknowledge that there is no middle-ground, they cannot hide themselves behind a veil of ignorance by abstaining; they know what the outcome will be. I would be more disappointed in a nonvoter claiming not to know which candidate to choose, than someone who actually voted for Trump with confidence. 

Voting is a privilege that not everyone has had. Black men were not allowed to vote until 1870 and 1920 for white women. It was not until 1965 that all women were finally given the opportunity to vote for themselves. To this day, there are still people who are not allowed to vote like permanent legal residents, some people with felonies and some people who are mentally incapactitated. Just because they cannot vote does not mean they do not have opinions, needs or rights all together. Vote for these people and with them in mind. Vote because people before fought long and hard to give this opportunity to more than just white men. 

Today is the last day to go out and stand up for yourself, your loved ones, your neighbor or even someone who smiled at you at the grocery store. Voting is not scary, it is important. It is important to know what is going on around you, what propositions are, what candidates believe in and want to do to make the city and country we live in a better place. 

Although it seems like an overload of information, there are plenty of tools to help voters decide on the matters at hand. The Valley Star staff created a Voter Guide in the best interest of college students and young people to help simplify political language in a digestible way. The New York Times, the L.A. Times, the Wall Street Journal and a wide range of journalistic sources are out there to explain the issues as well. Find a publication you identify with and go over their suggestions to see if they are choices you align with. 

Voting is a huge deal, especially in these last few hours, do not miss out or ignorantly choose not to participate in something so important. It would be an injustice to those who fought for the right for everyone to vote.


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