Nov. 3, 2014
OK, it’s time for our annual voting rant.
But, this is not the same old spiel when it comes to exercising your right to participate in the most fundamental part of democracy.
We can tell you why it is important to vote, and we can try to press that into the brains of American citizens and college students until we are blue in the face.
But we’ve done that, and frankly if you don’t understand the importance that your vote and participation in our government have, we can’t help you. The key issue is why it is more important than ever to vote.
First, our generation is starting to have a greater impact on the way our elections turn out. Increasingly, the way an election swings depends on what happens with the young people (that would be us). There’s a reason we are targeted with all the advertisements, mail and people who come to campus encouraging us to vote.
Our generation is important, so make your voting important to you.
Make it important to you by doing your research and making an informed decision. Simply put, care.
Care about voting like you care about money, food, succeeding in school, getting a job, relationships and finding random things to do between all the other things you have to do.
Second, if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.
When the legislators that represent you make a decision that you don’t agree with, an essential part of democracy is to voice your displeasure at their decisi on. But if you refuse to vote, you forfeit that essential part of how we do things.
As we continue to critique and criticize our elected officials, make sure you have the background to stand on firm ground. If you don’t vote you lose your voice, both before and after the election.
Third, we are in ever-increasing danger of losing voter motivation and participation as a country. Eligible voter turnout in the United States has hovered somewhere between 50 and 60 percent for most of the recent past.
That’s not good enough for a country that is the beacon of democracy for the rest of the world.
You’ve got one more day to vote and show that you care about how important voting is. Take advantage of it. Make sure you fi nd a polling station or ensure you make it the next time that ballot comes your way.