#WhyVote

According to Dictionary.com democracy is defined as "a system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives." In America we are lucky to have the opportunity to vote for who we want to lead our country, however, we have a very low voter turn out. More and more college students are choosing not to vote, especially in light of the 2016 election. Because of this low political participation among millennials there have been various movements attempting to direct young people to the polls in November.  
 
Most of us can probably remember the Rock The Vote  movement during the 2012 election cycle; it hoped to reach young voters primarily through social media. American Apparel has decided to join in on this movement as well. On April 21st 2016 American Apparel launched its Why Vote campaign which features fun videos about why young Americans should be voting in the upcoming election. Not only does this campaign urge millennials to vote, but it also encourages them to convince their peers to. They believe that if individuals explain what they stand for (through a social media contest) they will be able to mobilize younger generations. 
 
 
 
 
 
Here are just a few arguments for why we should vote in this upcoming presidential election. According to the Pew Research Center, U.S. voter turnout in 2012 was only 53.6%. Those numbers are shocking due to the fact that many people proclaim our nation has the “strongest democracy” in the world. How can the champions of free elections not bother to vote for President? The numbers are even lower when it comes to local and state representation. How can we promote democratic values and free elections in other nations when we ourselves don’t respect or take our own civic duties seriously? 
 
The excuse that is always used around campus in reference to voting is that "my vote doesn’t matter." However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. “Millennials (ages 18 to 34) are the largest generation in our country. With a whopping 75.3 million, we surpass the projected 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51 to 69)” (The Odyssey). Think back to the 2000 Bush/Gore race where the election came down to a couple of hundred votes in one state; in cases like that every vote counts. 
 
It may seem like voting for the next president doesn’t effect college students directly, but it does. In four years, or possibly even sooner, you will be out of school, working, renting an apartment, and finding your own health care, etc. The policies created by our government will effect all of those things. So, think about this as you go forward in this election season… “Voting matters. When voters don’t turn out to choose their local and state governments, they receive a government that doesn’t represent them” (Huffington Post). Low voter turn out only guarantees an unhappy population whose values are not being advocated for.