Voting is a bitch. It's a hard thing to do. Not the actual act of voting, but dealing with the idea of voting. Vote and win, you have to hold your candidate's feet to the fire. Vote and lose, and you feel totally robbed of your power to influence anything.
If there is anything that annoys actual voters, it is the endless bitching on every political policy of a current government coming from the mouths of eligible voters who never bothered to cast a ballot. If you don't vote it is like saying you don't care how your country is run, so if you don't care where do you get the idea that you can complain when something happens that you don't like?
Now, voting is also the power to get attention and gain more sway over the issues. Old people are the most reliable voters. They have the highest percentage of voters of any age group. And because of that, old people get what they want. If you're running for public office, you better be protecting the interests of old people because old people will vote you out. On the other hand, young people don't vote in large numbers and it's not worth a politicians time to put a lot of effort in courting the young vote. Not that youth isn't important, but if politician A focuses on the young voters and politician B focuses on the old voters, politician B wins, because old people turn out. Turn out is very important because the people who turn out and vote are the ones that rule. If you don't turn out, you lose.
“Civic duty” and because “you should” are not reasons that will probably get you to want to vote. But it is your civic duty and, yes, you should vote. You need to vote.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.”
In other words, government and its politicians only have power because we as a people give it to them through our collective consent. That’s what happens when we vote yea or nay.
So, you think your vote won't matter? You think you are in a safe state, so what good will your vote do? Well, again, what if everyone thought that? Now, if more people voted, the bigger the margin, the greater the mandate for the next president to get the job done.
But what if you vote for the guy who lost, either in your state or the country? Well, wouldn't you want your choice on record? At least you know you took a stand for what you believe. How is that ever the wrong thing to do?
There is nothing more powerful than voting. By voting you are saying 'Fuck you!' to all those pundits, nay-sayers, and the over-forty crowd who always say the youth vote will never turn out. So do what every red-blooded, authority-questioning American under 30 would do: challenge the status quo, piss off those nay-sayers, and go against the grain and do the unexpected. Keep them on their toes, shock them into the 21st century and get out and vote!