Why You Should Vote

When it comes to politics, young adults make many excuses for hating it. People dislike the conflict and debate, maybe it’s too confusing to get into, or – probably the most common – it does not directly affect them. But in all actuality, politics play a role in everyone's day to day life. So, it's necessary to reverse this mindset. Whether politics are your jig or not, your voice matters. It's important for you to share it. And the easiest way to do this? Voting.

It begins by informing people about the power of voting. Engage teenagers into the conversation and ask for their opinions. Educate students early on about how the government works. Including people when they are young will hopefully encourage interest and participation by the time they are old enough to vote. An easy way to connect is through the internet. Registering to vote online is a good start, but even this can be added on to. E-voting is becoming a popular way to vote in other countries, which can appeal to both young and older groups. Not to mention, politicians already use social media platforms to communicate, so connecting is easier.

So, why should you care? A lot of people don’t. Young voters tend to opt out of their basic civic duty, believing their votes don’t matter. But the fact of the matter is that millennials consist of half of the voting population. This makes their votes extremely influential. Soon, young adults will become the largest group to sway future elections. And it has happened. In 2000, most Florida voters voted for third party candidates leaving only 537 votes to decide the president. In 2009, Senator Al Franken won by a mere 312 votes. Obama won because of a surge of young voters. In 2016, only 19% of people aged 18-29 voted in the presidential elections. Imagine how the election could’ve swayed had more young people voted. These are just a few examples of elections where singular votes mattered. You might not care about politics now, but that could change very quickly if someone awful is elected president.

Contrary to popular belief, voting affects everyone in their everyday lives. Politicians in government make decisions that you wouldn't even think were 'political'. Those in office decide everything from gas prices to how clean the streets are to finding full-time jobs. Politicians also deal with public transportation and how much housing is provided in your community. If these things seem too unimportant or far in the future, then remember that politicians decide on minimum wage, taxes and college tuition. Not voting means opting out of contributing to topics that progress past the initial idea of politics that directly affect you.

This leads to the importance of educating yourself on candidates. Who you vote for will make all these decisions. Internet access means it’s extremely easy to read up on politicians. It’s also very important not to vote straight ticket. Although politicians are in your party, you still might not agree with them, so know who you are voting for. Don’t waste your rights! Young people are extremely diverse and do represent the current incumbent. Our votes can sway future elections - but not voting means 50% of the population is unrepresented. That is a small group of people deciding the future for everyone else. No one is going to vote in the interest of young people except for young people.

So, go get you a sticker and please vote!