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But that one, individual vote that each was fighting for… was it really worth it? Does a single vote even make a difference? In fact, the numbers say no. I know of no major election that came down to a single deciding vote; even those that demanded a recount resulted in a difference of a few hundred votes. Technically speaking, if you were to cast no vote in your next election, it would make no difference in the outcome. Individually, it seems, our votes don’t matter. Collectively, however, they are priceless. We must understand that our decision to vote includes us in a group commitment of the American people.
A commitment to keep our rights and freedoms, a commitment to preserve and improve what our forefathers and present-day troops fight and die for, a commitment to never allow this unique and remarkable American design and dream to die, a commitment to retain our democracy. This is our duty and calling as the collective people of the United States of America. This is our seal of citizenship and our enlistment to the cause of democracy. For this is what our country was built on. Chants of “No Taxation Without Representation” helped spark the revolution that changed the world. The American people wanted a say in their own government—so badly, in fact, that tens of thousands of young soldiers gave their lives for the opportunity to change their country. And so we must vote—not because it will make a great statistical difference, but because in the act of voting itself, we are establishing our place as a citizen of this country and doing our part to uphold the values and democracy that our ancestors fought and died for.
And yet more and more, people are excluding themselves from this cause and preventing their own involvement by ignoring this fundamental right. Our government does more than take our taxes and repave our roads; it shapes our entire existence by dictating our freedoms. By ignoring the right to vote, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to recreate our own lives and the lives of our children by expanding our freedoms and keeping our democracy. When we vote, we are our trusting our fellow citizens to uphold these freedoms as well. We are depending on these people—on these strangers whose only link to us is our common citizenship—to decide the fate of our country. And they are depending on us. So I beg you: be dependable. Understand, as you cast your ballot, that this is no joke. You are participating in something larger than yourself that will help determine the future of America. Your vote matters because you are what makes our country the heart of liberty.
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