Cast That Ballot This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     On November 2, 2004, we the people of The United States get to exercise a freedom that has been a part of this great country since 1790 when the Constitution became fully operative. That is, for men! It was years later that black men (1868) and women (1920) won the right to vote. But now, voting is a right of all American citizens who are of age and qualified.

Remember some of those stories that your grandfather or great-grandfather told about the old country where they were not allowed to vote? The rulers of the land, not the people, made all the decisions. That was one of the first things our ancestors wanted to change when they formed our nation, to give the people their say in how they're governed.

Our Constitution states that all men are created equal. Each freedom was hard earned, but now everyday working people get to elect the officials we think best. Not only can we vote for candidates but we can also be on the ballot! It is a real privilege to elect or be elected.

Casting a ballot is something we can all do when we turn 18, and it is a great tradition and privilege. Whatever else you do on November 2, do not forget to cast your vote for the officials of your choice! If you are old enough and do not vote then you have no right to complain about the outcome. Use the freedom you have. If we fail to use the voting freedom, we may someday lose it. Do not take that chance - vote!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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