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A vote that made a difference

May 12,2017
When I arrived at the polling station Tuesday, it was just a few hours before the poll closing at 8 pm. But when my turn finally came in the long line to vote, I soon realized that I left my ID home.

As the weather was lousy, I was more tired of dragging my broken right leg wrapped by heavy cast than otherwise. Then I started making excuses to give up on the vote. Could just a vote make a difference? But given the long distance I had to travel to come home for the vote the other day, I just couldn’t give up and barely made it to the polling station before the closing.

After the vote, I left light-hearted, but was ashamed of the thought I had a few minutes ago.

As a college student, I’ve been carefully watching how the people took to the streets over an unprecedented abuse of power scandal involving the president and her confidante. All of the presidential impeachment, detention and trials were made possible thanks to the people’s efforts to make their voices heard. I, too, took part in the massive candlelight vigils in Gwanghwamun Square. There, I saw how many of us desired a better nation through their unceasing candlelight rallies. Eventually, the snap election led to the election of a new president.

There was another reason to cast a vote. Amid all-time high overall unemployment, our young generation, in particular, is desperately looking for a job. I wish my vote would help find a better solution to tackle the serious problem facing us. The first presidential election in which I participated meant a lot to as I let my and others’ voices be heard to help better our lives.

In this election, those in their 20s accounted for 24 percent of the entire population. That means the age group can no longer be ignored in our society. Moreover, the fact that the final overall voting rate of 77.2 percent was one of the highest in two decades also demonstrates our generation’s increasing interest in politics to safeguard their own lives.

This is only the beginning. I truly believe a single ballot can make a real difference in the way our politicians treat us.

*Senior student at Sungshin Women’s University.

Son Min-young