6 November 2018
Everyone wants to show off their “I voted” sticker on social media, and wear it around until it literally doesn’t stick to clothing anymore; however, are people only voting to say that they voted? Even though it has become popular to vote, and it is encouraged that our generation of college students should be going out and voting, it is not beneficial for voters to cast their votes unless they are making informed and educated decisions.
Before a person sends in their ballot, there needs to be time spent researching candidates and ballot measures so that the citizen can make an informed decision. Without evidence to support your vote, what you choose will not necessarily be helping or hurting anyone.
Doing research on candidates and other topics should not just include watching the news or reading the tabloids; a person needs to put in some extra effort in order to be informed. Read your ballot information booklet otherwise known as a blue book. The Colorado General Assembly informs us that, “The purpose of the ballot information booklet is to provide voters with the text, title, and a fair and impartial analysis of each initiated or referred constitutional amendment, law, or question on the ballot. The analysis must include a summary of the measure, the major arguments both for and against the measure, and a brief fiscal assessment of the measure. The analysis may also include any other information that will help voters understand the purpose and effect of a measure.”
A voter should also do research of their own, either on the internet or from reading different sources about the upcoming election they will be voting in. It is also helpful to speak with others about their viewpoints, but do research to better understand others’ opinions.
Many voters cast their votes based off of information they’ve heard, news they’ve watched or information they’ve read or seen from media outlets that may or may not be reliable.
According to the Pew Research Center, 16 percent of college graduates did not vote in the 2016 presidential election – a gap that without a doubt could have swayed the final percentage. People with college degrees who are educated, and are likely to do research before they vote are still not voting, which can be detrimental in some cases.
Everyone who is an American citizen should practice their constitutional right to vote, but this doesn’t mean voting in an uniformed manor. Use your resources and vote for what you personally believe in, and don’t vote based off of others’ opinions that are not your own. Happy voting fellow Coloradans! Get out there, do your research and cast your ballot.