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Why I believe it’s important for every citizen to cast a ballot

From Emily Wakeman, 15, a sophomore at Southlake Christian Academy. She was a member of the Mayors Youth Press Corp at the Democratic National Convention:

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but the action we take after forming our opinion is what truly matters. That’s why we all have the obligation to vote.

As Election Day nears, I’m urging people to take responsibility for our country’s future, so this is a call for all citizens to get out and vote.

Why do I believe it is so important for each and every one of us to cast our ballot?

Earlier this fall, I was invited to attend the Democratic National Convention as a member of the Mayor’s Youth Press Corp. I observed panel discussions with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai. I met Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steel, Ted Kennedy Jr., and former U.S. House Representative for Rhode Island, Patrick Kennedy.

From this experience, I received a once-in-a-lifetime education about what politics is all about and why each of our roles in our country’s future is essential. I left the DNC with a new understanding and appreciation of politics. I now believe our responsibility as citizens is not only to hold our own opinions on issues but also to understand the opinions of the people who are going to run our country. I now know that each vote impacts the election.

So as Election Day draws near, take time to think about how you can help shape our country’s future. Take time to learn what the national, state and local candidates believe, and ask yourself if it is what you believe too.

Upon forming your opinion go out and vote. Vote for those men and women who have pledged to stand up for the freedoms we all appreciate and sometimes take for granted. Vote for the candidates who will help make the country look the way you want it to for the next four years, for your children, and for generations to come. America is about opportunity and by voting we can make the change we want to see in our country.

For the Record offers commentaries from various sources. The views are the writer’s, and not necessarily those of the Observer editorial board.
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