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Essays on Civic Engagement

This Is Your Democracy

Voting and Responsibility

Mamie Jackson Springfield

My family and I mainly, my sisters were all sitting in the living room discussing about voting and who was eligible. When it came time to vote on my 18th 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 an American citizen, and to have the power to vote as soon as I turned 18, as I was only months away from my 18th 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.

Growing up, I never really realized how lucky I was to be able to be living in America, to an American citizen, and to have the power to vote as soon as I turned 18, as I was only months away from my 18th birthday, and actually being able to cast a vote.

First and foremost, as an American citizen, I was given the right to vote by the 15th amendment and the constitution, but even though it is a fundamental freedom, I would still consider voting a privilege. After gaining independence from Britain, I was glad 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 giving, or I am giving 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 18, you bet I was going to vote.

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