If you were only going to vote in one election your entire life, it should be this one.

Why Voting in the 2016 Election Is Especially Important

If you were only going to vote in one election your entire life, it should be this one.

Clinton or Trump: The Choice is Yours

If you were only going to vote in one election your entire life, it should be this one.

By Jessica Peña, University of Texas at San Antonio

For anyone eighteen or older, this may be one of the most important years of your life.

This is the year that every American of age has the opportunity to make a significant impact on the future of the country.

This is the year that will decide whether the next leader of the free world will be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

And that will be entirely up to you.

The importance of voting in the 2016 presidential elections is overwhelming. It’s actually quite the significant event, despite all the lighthearted memes and jokes circulating the internet about the current nominees.

Why Voting in the 2016 Election is Unusually Important

One way to view the situation is to consider a cat trapped in a box with radioactive poison.

In 1935 there was a physicist by the name of Erwin Schrödinger who came up with a thought experiment in which a cat is put into a box with a vial of radioactive poison.

Basically, there is just as much of a chance of the vial breaking and killing the cat as there is of it staying in tact and the cat surviving. Until the box is opened, the cat exists as both dead and alive—although many, myself included, may argue that the cat was screwed as soon as someone introduced it to the poison.

The only way to find out is to open the box—kill the cat or save it. Trump or Hillary.

While deciding the next president may be slightly more important than the life of a theoretical cat, the basic principle is pretty similar.

Currently, there is just as much of a chance as the next president being Trump as it is Clinton. The only way to make one the reality instead of just a possibility is to cast your vote.

Whether you believe what this country needs is a giant wall or for college to be debt-free is a totally personal choice. But what actions you take in order to stand up for your beliefs and make a difference will have an impact on the rest of the nation.

That’s not an exaggeration. Literally every single vote counts—especially with such lousy voting statistics.

Roughly about 60 percent of all eligible voters in America are actually registered to vote.

Of that 60 percent, approximately only 80 percent of those registered voted in the 2012 presidential election—about 57 percent of all Americans total (the largest voter turnout of all the states was a mere 75 percent.)

So, essentially just barely over half of the country was responsible for Obama’s second term—saving the cat.

Theoretically, if the other half of Americans had voted the cat could have just as easily been dead—along with Obama’s presidency.

Not to imply that any other presidential election wasn’t as important as this one, but it’s undeniable that the 2016 elections will be one for the record books.

Why Voting in the 2016 Election is Unusually Important

Your vote could determine whether or not America has its first female president. It could determine whether or not the next president is one with radical immigration reform plans.

Your vote could very well be the deciding vote between two drastically differing candidates.

Your vote, along with everyone else’s across the country, will play an integral role in deciding the fate of our wonderful country.

It’s easy to sit back at home watching Trump make a fool of himself by saying ridiculous things on national television or to scroll through meme after meme of Clinton looking like a psycho. But those things aren’t going to make any difference in the world. They’re not going to help any cause—Republican nor Democratic.

Instead of doing the easy thing, it’s vital that everyone takes the necessary steps in order to cast their vote in the 2016 presidential election.

Firstly, you’ve got to get yourself registered to vote in whichever lovely state in which you reside. In Texas, for example, it’s as simple as filling out a form online or having one sent in the mail then returning it to your county’s voter registration office. Easy.

As the time approaches, it’s important to find out where you’ll be going on the big day. Finding the right polling place for you is vital in ensuring you’ll be able to make it in time to get your valued vote in.

While you may have to stand in line for quite some time (possibly a lot of time), it’ll be very worth it to be able to have your vote, your opinion, your say counted. So stand in line, fill out the ballot and make the rest of country proud.

It’s as simple and easy as that.

So, open the box. Place your vote. Save the cat—or kill it.

The fate of the country depends on it.

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