On Veteran's Day, Corbin McCallum, was named the winner of the Holyoke Voice of Democracy Speech Contest put on by the VFW. He later presented his speech at the Northeast district competition. After the competition was over, Corbin came out in 3rd place and came away with a cash prize. The following is the text of text of Corbin's speech.
My Vote Matters
Everyone matters in America no matter what walk of life you come from. One of the privileges we get for being citizens of this country is getting the right to vote for what you believe. My vote matters because I am a citizen of this country. I have a right to vote, I believe that my vote matters even if it seems like a small number in a big pool, I am the future of this country.
One of the freedoms in our country, that others have fought for, is we as people can vote. The 15 Amendment of the United States Constitution allows everyone from our country vote. It does not matter your “race, color”, sex, or anything of that nature. If you are the age of 18, you are considered eligible to vote (Constitution Center 1). I have seen everyone from old to young, a true mix of people going to do their civic duty. Everyone who wanted to voice their opinion in the election was there doing so. This is important because everyone in the United States is entitled to support who they want, and doing do really put emphasis on freedom.
To get the right to vote, we as Americans do have several duties we must fulfill. Men must register for the draft the day they turn 18. We are also required to serve on jury duty when called. These are two things I must do as an American, but getting to do these, also ensures I get to vote. The possibility of going and risking your life for the country after registering for the draft and the privilege to be on a jury, are small prices to pay for the years and years of voting we are able to do. If we are not taking advantage of the rights and freedoms we have as Americans, why do we stay? Voting is one of the biggest privileges we get.
Everyone is able to vote and with that right, the American People can change everything. Our one vote can rewrite the future of a country. We have a say in who is going to be in charge. When elections are held, we are not voting solely for the President or even representatives, we are also voting on laws and amendments. These laws and amendments can change the way we live our daily lives. We can vote on things from property taxes to President. I want to vote so my opinion is heard.
I have been affecting my life by voting since I was young. In kindergarten, I got to vote on what the snack of the day would be. That one small vote changes the life of a 7-year-old, there is a big difference between carrots and cookies. In high school, we elect class representatives who represent the student’s thoughts and desires with the administration and school board. Then when an American turns 18, they have the right to vote on all the issues facing our country. We have been teaching our younger generations to vote on all the things which matter in their lives, as we get older the items we get to vote on become more important.
Your one vote, my one vote can change the world. We are the next generation to be given the privilege of voting. We are the ones who will be making the decisions, electing officials and making laws. We can come together and reunite this country by speaking out and listening to others. This is not a time for hiding, but a time to stand up, make our voice heard one vote at a time. No one can hush my voice if I take the time to vote. My vote matters, your vote matters, all votes matter. Voting is an amazing opportunity every American is given. Do not waste it, take advantage of it and make your voice heard.