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COLUMBIASTATE ENGL 1010 - Cause and Effect

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Essay 3: Cause and EffectI am lucky to live in a relatively well-rounded community. However, one thing I have noticed is that voter turnout is relatively low in my specific area. If I could make a difference in my community, I would want it to be surrounding the importance of getting out and making yourvoice heard in all elections. Many people do not realize the impact of elections on their specific communities, leading them to only vote in the presidential elections or to avoid voting completely. In reality, these elections all play a part in determining your governors, mayors, sheriffs, and bills specific to your county, which can often be the most important. The ultimate goal is to have people in positions of power who represent the community's core values as a whole. Suppose only a small percentage of that community is actively participating in the election process. In that case, we may end up with people in office who do not align with our collective views. Low voter turnout affects every individual in the community, myself included.One cause of low voter turnout is that voters often do not feel that their one vote will make a difference, especially when they do not agree with any particular candidate or bill listed on a ballot. This can happen when people do not understand the logistics of how voting works. This issue leads individuals to either not participate in voting or vote for one political party or another down the ballot without researching the candidates and their views. I will admit it is hardto see the bigger picture when we have so many residents in our communities, states, and country. To put this into perspective, there are roughly two hundred and forty thousand residents in my county (U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts, n.d.). If, for instance, twenty-five thousand residents in my county feel that their votes do not count or do not care for any of the candidates on the ballot, that could make or break a specific candidate's election. The feeling an individualhas of their single vote not making a real difference is false and contributes heavily to low voter turnout rates.Another critical piece to the low voter turnout puzzle is that many people cannot get the time off from work to vote. While many companies will allow an employee to take time off to vote, it is typically not paid. This is a significant problem because the amount of time it can take to vote will vary depending on the polling location. A person may only have to wait in line for ten minutes, or they may have to wait in line for several hours. I have been on both ends of the spectrum, with the longest wait time I have experienced being four and a half hours. The average American citizen cannot afford to take unpaid time off work, leaving them no choice but to sit out of the voting process. This is an incredibly unfair situation that arguably sets a precedent for the poor and working-class citizens to have little say in elections. At the same time, the top earners in our country can vote and make decisions for the rest of us because of the luxury of their financial situations.I feel that the largest factor in low voter turnout is a lack of education and guidance. This stems from a person's home environment regarding politics. A young person who grows up in a family that avidly participates in voting and regularly keeps up with politics will be more likely to follow suit and exhibit those same behaviors. Adversely, a young person who grows up in a family who places little to no value on politics or voting is more likely to follow in those same footsteps. Outside of family influences, our school systems do not emphasize the importance of politics and voting. We do not teach our young people about the electoral college, how people can get their names and bills on a ballot, or how to fact-check sources to find accurate information about candidates. Instead, we give our students the bare minimum break down on politics, leaving them uninterested and uneducated about the necessity of voting and the massiverole that politics play in every aspect of our communities. The lack of sound, unbiased information we provide to the young people in our country undoubtedly contributes to low voter turnout.In conclusion, we can attribute low voter turnout rates to a wide range of factors. This is an urgent issue that deserves real attention in each community throughout our country. We all have a part to play in solving these problems with our children, with our businesses, and within ourselves. As American citizens, it is our civic duty to make our voices heard during each election. We were afforded a special right to vote many years ago, and to not participate in that right is to not count as an active part of our communities. To see a real, positive change in our communities and our country, we need to work together to lessen these factors' effects on voter turnouts.ReferencesU.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Williamson County, Tennessee. (n.d.). Retrieved October 11, 2020, from

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