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14 Quotes To Inspire You To Get Out and Vote

Democracy, at its core, is rooted in the belief that citizens of a nation should have a say in who runs their government. Though it’s far from perfect, in its most ideal form it promotes stability and equality, giving voice to citizens who otherwise wouldn’t have their opinions heard. It’s a system in which people are empowered to be active participants in the governing of their lives — and one of the key ways they do so is by voting.

In the United States, the right to vote has long been a marker of full citizenship, and something that different marginalized groups have fought for throughout history: The 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, gave all men the right to vote regardless “of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”; the 19th Amendment, ratified in 1920, extended that right to women. Since then, all U.S. citizens have been granted the right to vote on everything from how their taxes are being spent to who will act as their local representatives and commander in chief.

The hope, in a democracy, is that people vote for measures and politicians who are looking out for the greater good; a true democracy means there will always be room for growth and change depending on the needs of a nation’s citizens, and their collective hopes for a better future.

Here, we’ve rounded up 14 quotes that speak to the importance of this civic duty, to encourage you to head to the polls on Election Day and exercise your right to vote.

We are not helpless. The fire is still burning. Please go out and vote this November. Too many people have died and sacrificed so much for us to have our voice, we have to use it. Get in formation. Use our voices to do something great for our children.
Beyoncé

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Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Here’s the problem: While some folks are frustrated and tuned out and staying home on Election Day, trust me, other folks are showing up. Democracy continues with or without you.
Michelle Obama

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Voting is not only our right — it is our power.
Loung Ung

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Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country, and this world.
Sharon Salzberg

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The most important office, and the one which all of us can and should fill, is that of private citizen.
Louis D. Brandeis

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The vote is precious. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it.
John Lewis

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The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
Abraham Lincoln

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Our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up in the polls.
Peggy Noonan

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Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.
Harry Emerson Fosdick

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

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This right to vote is the basic right without which all others are meaningless. It gives people, people as individuals, control over their own destinies.
Lyndon B. Johnson

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Democracy in the contemporary world demands, among other things, an educated and informed people.
Elizabeth Bishop

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Can't wait for tomorrow when I get to exercise my patriotic duty as an American: Complaining about how long it's taking to vote.
Stephen Colbert

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Featured image credit: Joaquin Corbalan/ iStock

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About the Author
Joyce Chen
Joyce Chen is a writer, editor, and community builder based in Seattle, Washington.
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