Voting and ResponsibilityMamie Jackson Springfield
My family and I, mainly, my sisters, were all sitting in the living room discussing voting and who was eligible. When it came time to vote on my eighteenth birthday, my sisters and I walked to the voting polls, because it was walking distance. Voting was held in a brick community building that we used to use to play games. It used to be a bunch of smaller rooms, but now it was open because of the polls. I finally felt like I was one of the ones to be counted as an adult.
Growing up, I never really realized how lucky I was to be able to be living in America, to be an American citizen, and to have the power to vote as soon as I turned eighteen, as I was only months away from my eighteenth birthday, and actually being able to cast a vote. I began to develop a better understanding of my rights, privilege, and responsibility as a soon-to-be voter.
First and foremost, as an American citizen, I was given the right to vote by the fifteenth amendment and the Constitution, but even though it is a fundamental freedom, I would still consider voting a privilege. After the United States gained independence from Britain, they gave me power to vote for whomever I please, so I can determine by choice who I would like to lead this country, to allow me to influence the decisions of the government to better this country, and I am glad they did just that.
Because we are given, or I am given, this precious right, I believe it is my responsibility to use it to the fullest, to help improve my country one vote at a time. If there is a change I want, I must use voting to make it happen. So, is voting my right, privilege, or responsibility? I think it is all in one, and likewise, one for all. I am grateful for it. I am grateful to be a citizen who has the right to share my stance with little to no judgement or penalties. When I finally did turn eighteen, you bet I was going to vote.
Other Essays In This Series
My lifelong engagement in the life of the community was also inspired by the older people who used to hold weekly senior citizens meetings in my town.My Mother the Philanthropist George Thorney Worcester
My teacher was Mr. Frangules, who looked at me with a smile and said, “This is where you belong, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.”Classroom Belonging Rodney McCrimmons Springfield
I have not said this to many, but now I say it because in my 76 years of life I have met so many that are so hurt by society’s putting them down.If You Condemn Yourself First… Charlie Knight Springfield