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Minnick wins VOD contest

MEYERSDALE - Miss Nadia Minnick has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Voice of Democracy Contest, sponsored by the Meyersdale American Legion, Post 112. Her essay was based on this year’s theme, “Why My Vote Matters.”

Minnick said this theme resonated with her as she just a few months away from being able to cast her vote for the first time.

“Right now, more than ever, we need to get out and vote,” she explained. “I am looking forward to being able to vote and have my voice heard.”

As the winner for the Meyersdale Area High School, Minnick received $100 scholarship and will advance to State competition.

Minnick, a senior at MAHS, is the daughter of Melissa and Charles Minnick. Following graduation she plans to pursue a career as a pediatric nurse.

 

“Why My Vote Matters”

Why does my vote matter? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, voting is the act of expressing an opinion or one’s view.” Voting is commonplace to all Americans because of our form of government, a democracy. In our country, many government-elected officials laws and bills rely heavily on the response made by American people through the act of voting.

Without American voters’ voices being heard, it would be impossible for the United States to be the most influential and powerful nation in the world. The importance of voting dates much farther back than George Washington. Voting was present in places such as Ancient Greece. During the Classical period, people voted for every possible subject within the government in a system known as “direct democracy.” Although times have changed, and we now use our vote to elect officials who represent our opinions on different topics to other elected officials, the systems are very similar. Central to the success of both is the act of voting.

Considering the significant impact we have on our government, one might assume that men and women of all ages, races, incomes and educational backgrounds would be eager to vote in the primary, general and special elections. However, this level of involvement is not the case today. According to www.census.gov, only 63% of registered voters voted in the 2008 election. In the most recent election between President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, a meager 58% of registered voters went to the polls to cast their ballots.

Even more appalling is the fact that only 70% of Americans are actually registered to vote. Shockingly enough, a majority of the people not voting are between the ages of 18 and 22; in other words, our generation, who determines the future of America, is failing to do our duty.

With just half of the American people voting, it is easy for other nations to question if we even really have a democracy. These statistics reveal a disappointing lack of assembly at the polls and a apathetic sense of patriotism and civic responsibility.

Over a century ago, in 1910, an election in Buffalo, New York, between Charles B. Smith and Alva S. Alexander for the 36th Congressional District came down to a single vote. Although this highly contested election occurred many years ago, it provides a clear example of why every vote matters. A single American vote could completely rewrite the history of the United States whether it be cast in a local, state or federal election, which is why all Americans must exercise their right to vote.

Many people believe that their votes do not matter, so that opinion may be the reason for disinterest among voters. However, I will be the first to tell you that this claim is untrue. It is still very crucial to the advancement of the United States and to our freedom to run our government by the people and for the people via our votes, despite political leanings toward Democratic, Republican or third parties. It is our democratic obligation, our right and our privilege to vote as United States citizens, and I intend to fulfill that duty because I am invested in American future.