BENGALS FROM BOTH ANGLES: Are 18 year old’s obligated to vote?


Dominique Munsie

Daniella Torres feels obligated to vote

For over two centuries, the nation has relied on a path of democracy: the ability for citizens of a country to elect their representatives in houses of authority. 

The debate remains, whether or not it is important to participate in such elections, whether citizens should be involved in the goings-on of the government, and whether our voices really matter. 

With election day in recent news (November 8th, 2022) those turning eighteen either rush to register, or pay no attention. Those who choose not to participate, often feel their vote would not matter. 

While there are thousands of votes per election, and one person might not sway the outcome entirely, it is almost a case of the bystander effect. If everyone were to believe their vote is not important, there would be no chance of the society they want to live in, as everyone would choose not to participate.  

It is up to citizens to register to vote in order to live in their preferred conditions. There is no room to complain or critique the leaders of our country if those who are unhappy opt-out. 

In a world where there is not much one can do about the state of the globe, why not play the part and do what one can to even slightly influence the direction our nation takes.

Not only that, it is crucial to exercise your rights, as there was once a time where such privileges were granted only to a limited audience. In 1870, men of all races were given the right to vote and later, hardly a century ago, women. 

Because of this, it is one’s responsibility to play their part in a democracy which at one point was restricted. Not only that, but many countries do not participate in a government by the people and simply fall to whichever leader is next in line. 

Though that may work for their own way of life, the American people function differently and are allowed the opportunity to have a say as to who leads their country. Because voting is a privilege not offered to everyone, it is essential for us to practice what many wait decades to be able to do.   

Although it is a personal choice to make, it is crucial to understand one’s decision of whether or not to vote. If one chooses not to participate, they are not in the right to criticize the state of the government. Especially as current youth begins to surface new ideas and opinions, they must do what they can to live in the way they believe to be ideal.

Moreover, voting is a right as much as it is a privilege. It is vital to the state of our nation to play one’s role in societal decisions, making it essential to vote as soon as one can.