Informed voting crucial for hearing the voices of younger generations

This past week was National ‘Murica Day, where millions of United States citizens came out to vote on the 2014 ballot. Others would call this Election Day, and it is seen as the one day out of the year where everyone has the opportunity to raise their voice and vote on the ballot to decide the nation’s future.

Citizens were called to action to vote on political leaders and issues, and according to recent statistics, it’s kind of a big deal to most United States citizens. It’s democracy in action, and what could be more shiny and glorious than that? Nothing, right?

Well, truth be told, I did not vote. I am not even a registered voter, and I don’t really have a huge motivation to get registered. I don’t see it as some shiny and glorious act that everyone makes it out to be.

Hold on, though. Put down your pitch forks and torches and bear with me for a second.

I regret not voting. I regret not being registered. Why? Because, though I have a lot of issues with the whole voting thing in the United States (like how I believe it is rigged and pretty much used as a way to pacify the general population nowadays), I believe it is necessary for positive change.

Right now, there are so many problems with voting that it does not seem like it will ever make a positive change. But, it is possible. Here’s some ways how.

We need to stop being uninformed and passive when we vote. The worst possible thing to happen during election days is for someone to go up to the ballot without any knowledge on candidates or proposals. Then they just vote willy-nilly, or worse, click the little box that votes all Republican or all Democratic.

This is not democracy in action. This is ignorance in action, and generates more problems than it solves. Everyone has access to Google, and trust me, there are plenty of resources on what will be on the ballot available online for anybody to read. Study up on what you are voting for. Do it. No exceptions.

Also, people like me need to actually get out to vote. In 2010, only 23 percent of people in the the 18-29 age range actually voted. That’s less than a quarter of a huge demographic, and the other three-quarters are not allowing their voices to be heard.

We are a generation of people who seem to always have something to say about everything. Abortion? Everyone has an opinion on that. Death penalty? Sometimes you can’t get people to shut up about it. How about student loans? I’m sure you have plenty to say about that.

We’re a generation where everyone has an opinion, but we are also a generation where we have become too lazy to go out and vote and let our opinion and our voices be heard.

We are also an important generation. Our voices deserve to be heard. I know that I want to get my voice heard, but I can’t be too lazy or too cynical about the United States’ politics and society to vote.

If we increased the percentage of young people who vote up to even 50 percent or 75 percent, then maybe our generation can start making those changes we want to see. Nobody else is going to speak for us.

Like I said, I regret not voting. At first, I wanted to write an article on how voting was stupid and waste of time because the people in power just want to pacify us and make us feel like we are contributing somehow. Honestly, I believe that is still true, but those in power are like tired parents who just want to make their child happy. To keep us calm and from throwing a nationwide temper tantrum (i.e. revolution), they will give us what we want. But they won’t know what we want until we tell them, and that is done through informed voting.

So, fellow college students, you want to make the whole student debt issue better for you? Get out and vote. You want to increase the minimum wage for your entry-level jobs so that you can actually afford to both eat and afford housing, not one or the other?

Get out and vote. Get others to vote. Talk to friends, colleagues, classmates, acquaintances and that weird guy who speaks to himself in the secret language of the elves and get them on your side. Convince them that their voice matters, persuade them to your side and get some collective action going to make a difference.

Don’t end up like me, regretting that he didn’t vote or advocate for his viewpoints. Because how can people hear us if we don’t speak up?

This entry was posted on Monday, November 10th, 2014 and is filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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