Why don't enough people exercise their right to vote?

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In the most widely watched, observed and commented on election in the last 60 years, a man who believed and boasted 10 years ago that he would be president of his country was elected. He was elected by voters who made their way to the polls on November 8, who got their friends and family out to the voting stations, and exercised their rights.

If you want to change anything, whether your town, your city, your country or the world, you have a duty to get out there and lead the change. You must take part. You have to register to use the rights you have – especially if you’re fortunate enough to live in a democracy. Use your rights – they’re yours.

What about those 46.9% of Americans who could have taken part in this historic election? They didn’t exercise their right to vote. Had they done so, the outcome might have been different. Who knows, it might have even been the same. All I know is that 24 million people under the age of 29 voted when that demographic of millennials is made up of 70 million.

What is certain is that for the outcome you desire, you have to get out there and use your vote. Too often, young people don’t; I don’t understand why. In my home country of South Africa, people in my lifetime died for the right to vote. In every precious democracy, we disgrace the memory of our ancestors and predecessors who fought for this right. We shame ourselves in the eyes of people in other countries who are in prison because they have fought for this right. We can’t claim solidarity with the oppressed when we can’t be bothered to use our own rights.

To get what you want you have to take part. You have to lead the change. 

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