It’s no surprise to anyone that there’s a push for young voters in the upcoming election, but at CMU this push has seemed even more visible. Emails, Facebook groups, and students handing out fliers in classrooms and in front of Doherty encouraging registration have been a normal occurrence since classes started. Blaine Greenberg, a junior Psychology and Creative writing major, has been at the forefront of getting CMU ready to vote for our next president!
“Voting is the only thing given to you in this country for free; the fact that most students on campus either don’t care or are too lazy to walk into a voting booth and pick someone to represent them is really sad. This person is going to be making important decisions about your life for the next 4 years.” Greenberg says when asked why she feels so passionately about her participation with PennPIRG, the organization taking responsibility for getting CMU registered and active!
PennPIRG is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to get the youth voice heard, as well as standing up to special interest groups who are uninterested in what young people have to say. The overall goal is to get the government to listen to younger voters about the issues we care about as students-college affordability, having jobs once we graduate, etc. “Our main project right now, though, is getting young voters registered.”
When asked why it’s important for us to register besides our civic duty and the fact that our vote has an impact, Blaine gives an unexpected answer: “This election will be especially important for women, as there will be a lot of discussion about issues directly concerning women such as birth control and abortion. No matter what side you’re on, you should be involved in the decision of what happens to your own body.” If nothing else really “speaks” to you about this election, or any election in general, how it directly affects you and your life should definitely be at the top of your list.
As someone who’s not very politically savvy, the importance of young voters in the spectrum of everyone didn’t necessarily add up in my head, but Blaine assured me that the impact of young voters is on the rise, and especially important in a swing state such as Pennsylvania, which effects the overall election. In 2008 young voter turnout increased by 2%, while that of older Americans remained either constant or decreased. Not only does this give us more of an influence on what happens with our futures, but causes our vote to be heavily courted. Both political parties have parties specifically for young voters, such as the Youth Council and Maverick PAC, in order to get them involved and (ultimately) try to gain their support. “Your vote counts!”
Register before October 8th by visiting PennPIRG’s Facebook page and following the link, and come out to vote on November 6th!