Get Out and Vote!

Get Out and Vote!

Evan Myers, Creative Director

Voting may be considered as a chore to be ignored and pushed to the side. That it isn’t worth the time or the gas money; that it barely changes anything at all. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Especially for the younger generations of people who have only just obtained their right to vote. Voting is one of the most important rights someone has in their government.

Voting affects everything around the world. A vote in your local elections will, in turn, determine how the Congress will act, thus determining the amount of control a certain party has over the country and the amount of legislation they can pass. A vote can affect how we go about foreign policy: how we act towards the world outside of the United States. A vote can determine if we elect someone who will plunge us into war or lead us to peace.

Secondly, voting is the voice of the people in our republic. It is your one opportunity to be heard and elect those who reciprocate your ideas. Those who don’t cast their ballots cheat themselves out of a right to a voice and a choice. In abstaining from voting, you are putting yourself to the mercy of another’s opinion: an opinion you may or may not agree with. According to project FiveThirtyEight, on his inauguration day, current president elect Donald Trump possessed a 39.5% approval rating. This is for a reason.

The voices of first time voters has historically shaken entire ballots in favor of certain candidates before. According to a survey conducted by Voter Research & Surveys, in Bill Clinton’s 1992 election, out of a survey of 15,490, 46 percent of 18 to 24 year old voters reported voting for Clinton and along with 41 percent of 24 to 29 year olds also reporting they voted for him. While that may not seem like much, the rest of the percentages were split among the two other opponents; this made Clinton the overall majority and winner of the election. The ideas of the young voters needs to be heard in order for the United States to properly represent everyone. The fate of the United States should not exclusively be decided by the older generations.

However, despite this, a sufficient lack of voting has always been present in younger generations throughout history. A study entitled Technology and Politics: Incentives for Youth Participation stated during the 1976 election, one of the first in which 18 year olds were capable of voting, 18-24 year olds still only made up 18 percent of the ballot and only 13 percent of them reported even voting at all. Out of all 18 year olds in the country in 1998, only 13 percent of them were registered to vote, but only 5 percent of those registered voters actually participated in their election. This is unacceptable.

It is important for every single American citizens’ voice to be heard because of these reasons. Especially for the voices of a new generation, 18 year olds. Once one has gained their right to vote, it is their civic responsibility to uphold that right. It is vital that the eligible voting population to recognize that first time voters are a strong and determinate voice of the younger generations: a voice so desperately needed in these divided times.