Being on the cusp of adulthood brings many new responsibilities and changes. One of the more anticipated and important responsibilities that comes with finally being legally considered an adult is the great American act of voting. Since elementary school it’s been drilled into our brains that the one thing that makes America the great country that it is, is our form of government — a democracy. The main aspect of a democracy is the citizen’s right to vote. With a right to vote, though, comes great responsibility.
There are tons of reasons Americans should exercise their right to vote.
“Your vote actually matters.”
“You can express your opinion about important issues.”
You probably recognize these phrases from a middle school social studies class where a monotone teacher droned on and on about how to be a good citizen. Odds are those words went in one ear and out the other. There’s no better call-to-action than saying that your vote, out of millions of votes could possibly push America in the direction that the majority of Americans think it should go. Let's be real, voting seems a little impersonal, and it’s hard to imagine the effect your one vote has, especially when it’s put up against millions of other votes.
Yes, voting is important at every age and it’s important to be involved in government throughout your whole life, but at the age we are now, voting is truly crucial.
For our generation especially, voting will literally shape our future. The issues that presidential candidates chose to elaborate on during their campaigns are issues that will affect our lives and our futures. Whether it’s student loan debt, healthcare or social security, the issues that are front and center during campaign times are issues that will change our day-to-day lives. With young adults ages 18-29 voting at astonishing lower rates than the older age brackets — 15 to 20 points lower to be exact, according to Fair Vote — it is now, more than ever, important that people our age execute their right to vote.
Voting is especially important for college students to partake in because presidential candidates won’t address student needs without student votes. Presidential candidates know which age bracket takes up the majority of the votes and will therefore chose to cover issues that especially apply to that age group.
Voting is the only way that average American citizens can become active members in the government. As John F. Kennedy once said, “The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end, the people must choose and the people must help themselves.”
Lead Image Credit: Deedle-Dee Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment and Universal Media Studios (UMS)