We asked the BuzzFeed Community why they're voting for the first time this year. Here are the empowering results.
1. "As a young woman of color, my voice as a minority can be heard, and I can promote a positive change in my country."
2. "I am voting because I'm a child of immigrants, and I want to ensure that other families have the chance of prospering in life — no matter their race, gender, sexuality, or socio-economic standing."
3. "Because I’m concerned for the future. I want people of all identities to be treated equally. I’m voting because this country needs real change, and I can’t just sit back and expect it to happen on its own."
4. "I’m voting because I want to live in a country that I’m proud of and feel safe in."
5. "Because if I don’t vote, my voice isn’t heard, and that’s the last thing I want to happen."
6. "Knowing that people literally died for an African American woman like me to have that right, I can’t just throw it away."
7. "After 19 years in the U.S., I'm becoming a naturalized citizen. I feel like becoming a citizen is like turning 18 — there's a bunch of stuff you can do now, so you HAVE to do it!"
—Alexandra Maris Kerr Brewster, Facebook
8. "Voting is something I've looked forward to since I was a kid. I remember my teacher reading us a book about voting in elementary school and thinking it was cool that I could choose what I want for the future."
9. "It's my first year out of college. I have a full-time professional job and live on my own. Before this year I was living at home while my parents paid most of my bills. I didn’t feel like an adult. I feel for the first time that this election will impact my life."
10. "I know the candidates are far from perfect, but I’ve waited all this time."
11. "I feel like I’m finally educated enough to vote and actually see why it matters."
12. "There’s no way in hell I’m letting other people pick my elected officials for me when I can have a say by voting."
13. "Because issues like global climate change, increasing student debt, and income inequality are important issues that need to be tackled head-on."
14. "I believe in the American electoral system. Though it's imperfect, the fact that every citizen has the choice to put their voice out there is something that shouldn't be taken for granted."
—Isabelle Sohn, Facebook
15. "I am voting in this year's election because my vote matters. My vote will make a difference, even if I am only one person."
16. "I’m really excited to vote for Secretary Clinton because she’s showing us women can do and be anything!"
17. "If I don’t vote then I can’t really complain if I don’t like the person who ends up in office."
18. "I am a part of the next generation of this country, and as a woman, I’ll shatter the glass ceiling while ending the stigma of apathetic young people in politics."
19. "I’ve always felt passionately that voting is a right that many citizens in other countries don’t have, so not exercising that right is really quite foolish."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.