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Voting: You Should Start Thinking About it Now


(Photo credit, The Economist)

The 2016 election may seem far away, but consider learning more about potential nominees now.  

There are three types of college students in regard to voting.

1) Those who are so into voting that they encourage uninterested students who are too busy with O Chem to care about how their government is failing them.

2) Those sad students who are too busy with O Chem to care about how their government is failing them.

3) Those who just don’t care or are just too “uneducated” to vote.

But voting is essential to keeping our interests as citizens in line with actual legislation.

The University Daily Kansan provides a handy guide for state and local elections. The guide provides voters with a quick rundown of the candidates and where they stand on issues. So those of you who say you are too uneducated about politics to vote can learn quickly with little effort.

Another tricky part about voting is registration. All newly registered voters in Kansas must provide proof of citizenship in order to complete the registration process. A list of proof of citizenship documents is available here. The most common include a passport, driver's license or birth certificate.

Even though it’s annoying to submit proof of citizenship, it’s not too inconvenient. A photocopy or high quality photo of the document you choose as proof of citizenship is acceptable. You can even submit the application online and include the document in an attachment.

Here’s some knowledge.

In the state of Kansas last year, Governor Brownback, a Republican, won his seat as Governor with only 50 percent of the vote. Over 128,000 students are enrolled in four-year colleges across the state. Over 304,000 18-24 year olds live in Kansas. Imagine how the vote may have changed if every young person, not only college students, voted.  Only 38 percent of the 18-24 age group voted in the 2012 election.

Students care about certain political issues and even get involved with volunteer organizations on their campuses in an effort to better their communities. Where students fall short is in their participation at the polls.

When the majority of students and young people fail to elect politicians who will push forward bills, communities suffer. Participating in community service alone puts bandages on issues like student-loan debt, female-health and same-sex marriage.

If we, as millennials, truly want to create change in the world, we can’t just talk about it. We also can’t just volunteer our time. We have to put people into office who will work on tough issues. We have to vote. 

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