2016 is here, which means new beginnings. Something that everyone is talking about will happen in less than nine months: the 2016 presidential election. While this may seem like a boring topic, everyone needs to get out there and vote come Nov. 4. And by everyone, I mean college students and here is why:
In a few years, college students will have the responsibility of paying taxes, mortgages, and, of course, student loans. In addition, programs such as social security, health care, and retirement are topics that college students need to start paying attention to. How young voters are able to live their lives in the next 30 or 40 years is dependent upon their participation on Election Day. Many politicians speak directly to young voters about what they have planned for our future. They are supporting us, and we should support them by voting, participating, and being active.
According to the Huffington post, during the 2012 Presidential election, only 19 percent of young voters represented those who voted on Election Day. Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, said that “young people were proportionately well represented in the 2012 electorate.” Young voters are off to a great start, and in order to keep the momentum going, more of them need to get out there and vote.
Next, many people may not realize this, but voting is not just a right but also a civic duty. Many people from different races, genders, and ages fought for the right to vote. Voting is also a privilege that many people in other countries do not have. Therefore, it is only right that we honor what people have struggled to give future generations. To ensure that young voters do not lose their right to vote as citizens, we need to listen and stay alert.
Lastly, as young adults and college students, our voice needs to be heard. Many organizations are stepping up to project young voters’ voices. For example, Rock the Vote is a large nonpartisan organization driving young voters to the polls. Rock the Vote uses pop culture, art, music, and technology to increase political activity. Many celebrities including Madonna, Kendall Jenner, Jennifer Lopez, John Legend and Drew Barrymore have endorsed Rock the Vote to help encourage young voters to vote. The organization offers information about how to register, where to vote, and why to vote. Rock the Vote is helping to turn voting into a cultural phenomenon, and the message is this: get out there and let your voice be heard.