UNITED STATES—This week was an important week for many Americans. Why? It was Election Day 2018, and rather you’re a Democrat, Republic or Independent, I hope you voted. There are so many people who for reasons I just cannot fathom, do not consider voting important. However, it is a civic duty, if you are 18 or older, you are registered and you can vote, why the hell would you not vote? I completely understand the notion of being deathly ill and not being able to get to the polls, but even in that situation, you could get an absentee ballot to cast your vote.

For me, I don’t really look at voting as a political thing, for me it’s about paying respect to those who went decades, centuries without the opportunity to vote. How could I wake up the following morning and not feel some level of disgust or hatred in myself for not performing a civic duty that so many people were deprived of for years? There is no excuse and because of that rather its local politics, state politics or federal politics, I always find a way to get my butt to the polls.

I mean it’s cold, so what? It’s a little rainy, so what? I might have to walk a few blocks because I don’t have a car, so what? I need to be at that polling station to honor my ancestors and the people who didn’t get the opportunity to cast their vote or to allow their voice to be heard. I mean for African-Americans, who were deprived the right to vote for such a long time, even to the point that some were beaten, lynched, sprayed with firehoses or attacked by dogs, I don’t have to endure that.

There is no reason I could give that would even make sense as to why I could not vote. Beyond African-Americans, you have women who were denied the right to votes for years. I mean a constitutional amendment had to be created to allow women the right to vote. For those not in the know (and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t know this), it’s the 19th amendment. I don’t care what race you are, what religion you are, if you are a woman you should want your voice heard more than anything. Why? You were silenced for years and you now have a voice, so shout, scream let it be heard to the masses that you are present and you will cast your vote whenever the opportunity is provided to you.

I got up extra early as I had to work on Election Day. I mean I was at my polling station right before the polls opened and I was still in line for over an HOUR before I cast my vote. Americans came out in my region and I must say I was slightly surprised because the weather was wet and windy, but that is a sign that not even Mother Nature can stop people when they want their voice to be heard.

This has been one of the most decisive and chaotic political seasons I can recall in years. With that being said, the level of civility has been thrown out the window for both Democrats and Republicans. If you are not happy with how your party has performed vote with your heart, vote with your instinct. I hate this entire notion of you have to stick with your party, your vote should go to the candidate who you think will best serve you and your family. Too many people think a single vote does not count, but I am here to tell you every single vote matters, your one vote could be the difference, but if you fail to cast a vote, you shouldn’t say anything.

Written By Kelsey Thomas