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3rd Place - Richardson LWV Essay Contest

By Jillian Fisher, Parkhill Jr. High School

Dallas, TX –

"Why I Will Register and Vote When I Turn Eighteen"

Throughout the 13 years of my life, I have been controlled by many teachers, parents, siblings, and even the government. I have had no say or thought in many of the events that affect my life. I plan to change this and empower myself by voting when I am eighteen.

There are two ways of looking at why one should vote. The first and most obvious reason is that, voting gives people a say in their life. It gives people a reason to follow the rules. From an early age we are instilled with this mindset. However what if there was another reason to vote? Although it might be selfish, this reason may encourage young voters.

Research shows that in the 1998 election, ages ranging from 18 to 24 account for only 5% of voters. This implies that the candidates running for president don't need to caterer to younger voters or their issues. It is not a priority to them. This may result in the decline of government scholarships, money for schools and school run activities, and may even mean an increase in college tuitions.

I wonder if more college students knew that if they filled out a ballot, their tuition might decrease or their needs might be met? I know that many college students follow politics and have their opinions on the elections. Therefore, I don't think lack of knowledge is the problem, I think the problem is not knowing how they are benefited or why they should care.

Voting will be a wake up call for me. I plan to make good decisions and follow through. Voting is a milestone I will not ignore. Voting is a privilege; it's a part of me, a part of all Americans, the freedom of choice.

If you have opinions about this commentary, call (214) 740-9338 or email us.