• engaGE19

I’m voting because I want my voice to be heard

The voting booth is a sacred space. In the culture of noise, the voting booth creates a silent space for your voice to be heard. In that space stands you, a piece of paper, and a pencil. There’s nobody looking over your shoulder and nobody forcing you to vote one way or the other. It is a declaration that your voice matters and that your voice will be heard.

That is an important consideration. I often feel that my political opinions don’t matter because I’m drowning in chaotic political noise. That noise gets louder and louder each day as the election draws near.

I hear the people who can express their opinions with greater clarity than I can and the people who can think of counterarguments and spot flaws quicker than I can. I hear the denunciations that a certain political party is not just wrong, but dangerously wrong – and those who vote one way or another are harming people and harming the nation. I hear the frustrations of those on all sides of the spectrum. I hear laughter at the mistake of a politician. I hear the applause during speeches and I hear the endless soundbites. I hear the constant cycles of commentary and skepticism and anger.

However, after the debates have finished and the manifestos have been published there comes the election day. On that day there stands one place where the noise stops; the voting booth.

In that silent space, the only voice that matters is the one declared with a small little cross on the ballot paper.

That small little cross may not seem like much, but collectively those crosses will change the course of our nation. That cross is a sign that it is your turn to speak. This right to speak has been given to allow ordinary people like you and me to make a real difference.

So we must speak. Don’t let the confusion and anger drown out your small, but powerful, little cross. Promises can be made left, right, and centre but the power of elections comes from all of us exercising that right to vote.

It’s a right that not everyone around the world gets to enjoy. It’s a right that people have fought and died for. It’s a right that says you have value and you matter to the way things are done on this land we call home. When the noise stops, enter that voting booth and speak.

The secret ballot is one of the greatest declarations that your voice matters and I am voting because I want my voice to be heard.

Ben Daniel

Operations Manger at CARE