June 15, 1993 was an exciting day for me. I turned eighteen and legally became an adult. It meant quite a few things but none more important to me at the time than the right to vote. I had to wait a few years before being able to cast a presidential ballot, but as soon as the next election came around I was ready.
Why? Does it matter, and why is it so important to me? Well, yes it does matter. It matters a whole hell of a lot. What's sad is that it matters less to some Americans than to others. I know a lot of people argue their vote doesn't matter. With the way the process is set up it may seem like that is true. However, it really isn't. Whether the person you vote for wins or not, I assure you your vote is noticed. Trends are recorded for future reference. Those who may be running tomorrow are paying attention today. Also, an argument I've had with a non-voting family member many times: if everyone who claims their vote doesn't matter actually got off their asses to vote I assure you they would matter a whole hell of a lot.
To be honest, we as a country should be ashamed of ourselves. There are people in other nations killing each other for the basic rights we take for granted. That's not over-exaggeration, that's plain and simple fact. And for what reason are some of us not voting? I assure you it's not that difficult, and even if it is there are people there to help. Registering is just a matter of minor paperwork. Standing in line at the polling place is no worse than going to Walmart on a Sunday afternoon.
I'm taking my eighteen year old daughter to cast her vote for the first time this afternoon after school. She's excited, I'm excited. It's the beginning of a whole new tradition for her whether she realizes it or not, and such an important one that I'm honored to be sharing it.