The United States was built on a platform of freedom and democracy, and these two fundamental ideas still hold just as true today. In my opinion, every American citizen who is eligible to vote should exercise this right in the upcoming presidential election.
As college students, or “millennial voters”, it is easy to brush the voting process aside when we are busy with schoolwork, jobs, organizations and other social obligations. Many of us go to school out-of-state and may simply be too lazy to request an absentee ballot or even register to vote in general. I have heard people my age say that they are not going to vote because they “just don’t care about politics.” I used to be in the same boat.
I was never intrigued by or involved in political discussion, but this year’s election sparked a new interest in me. I just couldn’t keep giving the political world my cold shoulder. I began talking to my parents about the candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I began to ask questions and began to form my own opinions on the subject. I began attentively listening to the news during breakfast and keeping myself updated through mobile applications and social media. I began to realize that I will be affected by the outcome of this election. The future of our nation, and the entire world for that matter, will be affected by the outcome of this election. Then I realized one more thing: I can participate.
Sometimes voting can seem like a miniscule act. In the grand scheme of things, what will my single vote mean in the election? Well, it means a lot. Essentially, voting helps to keep our democracy alive. The more people who vote means the more people who will be represented in the election. I am aware that the these two candidates are not the most ideal, or the most representative of the entire American population. In fact, many people are refusing to vote because they do not agree with either of the candidates’ plans for presidency. However, not voting is still a vote… one candidate is going to win whether we like it or not. Why not add your voice?
The media does a great job of keeping the public informed about the two candidates and the progress of their campaigns. However, the media also does a great job of polarizing the two and focusing on each of the candidates’ past scandals, making each of them seem more like a monster than a future leader of our country. To get a narrower and more accurate focus on which candidate I want to vote for come election time, I watched the presidential debates more closely that I ever had before. This helped me further analyze both Trump and Clinton’s plans and ideals more clearly for myself. Once I immersed myself into the election by simply exposing myself to more information, I began to feel excited to vote. For the first time, our generation is able to add our own opinions to the big picture of the election. It is our future that this election will be affecting, so let’s do all that we can to make sure we are represented in the upcoming November election.
Check out the Elon Votes website (https://www.elon.edu/e/students/elon-votes/index.html) to register to vote or explore other resources regarding voting.