The importance of voting cannot be understated. For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, African Americans were discouraged from voting by lynchings, literacy tests, Jim Crow, redlining, and gerrymandering. The Ku Klux Klan’s peak in the 1920s (estimated to be between 4 and 5 million) as a terrorist organization, primarily directed their efforts at silencing the vote of African Americans. Ironically, now that this is something that anyone over the age of 18 can do, voter turnout among youth is paltry.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 truly gave African Americans the right to vote by outlawing the other methods that had been used to circumvent the 15th amendment (poll taxes were outlawed with the 24th). By voting, questionable politicians with untrustworthy natures and nefarious goals can be prevented from ever entering office. Politics, though regrettably cutthroat, are necessary for the advancement of social justice for minorities countrywide. Beyond merely defeating the purpose of representative democracy, nothing beneficial for the people will ever pass if the current generation continues its apathy toward voting.