Solomon is currently a student at Skyline High School.

Voting is one of the most important things that you will likely ever do. Voting determines the future of the country and everyone in it. However, not many people take advantage of the massive power they hold over their country. In 2017 only 32% of Americans are satisfied with the government, and one out of every five U.S. citizens say that government satisfaction is the biggest problem in America. (Gallup News) This is a big problem, especially considering that only 60% of eligible citizens voted in 2016. (US Elections Project) In order to fix this, we need to address why voting is so important, how your vote matters, and how to actually vote.

Voting is one of our Constitutional rights. As an adult US citizen, you get to determine the course our country is going to take. I want to stress this, you can influence the future of our entire country as soon as you turn 18. And because it is a constitutional right, no one can take it away. The power you hold over the government is incredible, but not everyone takes advantage of it. 40% of all eligible citizens didn’t vote in the 2016 elections.That means that two out of every five eligible people didn’t vote. If 68% of American citizens are unsatisfied with the government, then we should have more than 60% of US citizens voting. If you are unhappy, do something to make it better. If you aren’t happy with the government, then you need to vote.

A common misconception is that your vote doesn’t matter. This is incredibly false. Every single vote matters. Just recently, there was an extremely close race in Virginia that was decided by one vote. (Reuters) One vote decided the future of the country. After hearing this, don’t try and tell me that your vote won’t matter. Every vote matters. Your voice matters.

Every 4 years there is a presidential election, and every two years there is a midterm election. 2018 is a midterm year, so we will be voting in Congress. This is incredibly important because Congress makes our laws and has massive influence over our country.If you are 18 this year, you should use your power and right to vote. In order to vote you need to register at least 30 days before the elections on November 6th, 2018. You can register to vote if you are 18 by completing this application and mailing it to the Washtenaw County Clerk Lawrence Kestenbaum at this address. Alternatively, you could go to your local Secretary of State office to register. Just remember that you have to register by October 9th, 2018 to vote in the elections. In Ann Arbor, we will be electing 1 senator and 1 representative for the House.

If you believe enough to tweet about it, then you believe enough to vote for it. Protesting helps, but voting is the best way to tell the government what you stand for. Voting makes action.

These are the candidates and links to their websites for more information:

Senate:

Democrat: Debbie Stabenow

Republicans: Bob Carr, John James, Sandy Pensler, and John Tenny

Independent: Marcia Squier

House (12th District)

Democrat: Debbie Dingell

Republican: Jeff Jones

Green Party: Steve Young