Why Will I Vote, You Ask
By Sidhra Musani

"Allow me to respond with a question- why would I not vote? Why would anyone not vote? Voting is the opportunity for me to ensure, at least to my capacity, who the leaders of our city, state, and nation will be- to support community leaders who I think will bring the best policies forward and address issues that matter and pertain to me using values I share. And if no one quiet fits this category, I can at least ensure I'm providing one more vote in competition against those who directly oppose and jeopardize my values, my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, my freedom of religion and speech, and all other entitlements given to me as an American citizen. I can understand the dilemma some individuals face when having to choose between officials none of whom uphold their values and concerns; however, choosing to not vote is also a vote in and of itself.

It's not a direct vote but it will definitely affect the results in a way that is then out of your control versus if you had voted in the first place. Summing it up, 

The primary reason I vote is because voting is empowerment, and I refuse to lose such a golden chance to make my voice heard.

I am American. I am also a woman, a person of color, an immigrant, and a Muslim- not one of these identities makes me any less American today but, unfortunately that was not initially the case. No person who identifies as I do was initially given the power of having their voice heard, their vote counted. It was only possible after years of blood and sweat, of protest and advocacy that we were given this right to vote, and I will not let that struggle go to waste. "