Friday, August 3, 2007

Raising Your Voice

The importance of young voters in elections is a very hot topic in both local, state, and national government. It seems as if with every election less and less young voters show up to cast their vote. Political scientists all over the state and nation have been trying to formulate some sort of plan or some sort system trying to get a much larger turnout of voters under the age of twenty-five. Being only nineteen myself, I realize and can relate to why youngsters choose not to exercise their right to vote, but I also realize that this is a huge problem that should be dealt with because despite what we may think, we can make a substantial difference.

Most college students all think that politics are boring and corrupt and that all politicians are nothing but liars who make promises they won’t keep. They aren’t concerned with the issues our state faces and don’t think that these issues will have any effect on them. However, if young voters would come to the polls every chance they get and vote, more politicians would address the issues that they are concerned with. It’s no secret that voter turnout is low among adolescents, so until this trend changes, politicians will continue to dedicate their campaigns to the issues that directly effect their major constituents. Everyone has an opinion and therefore should go to the polls religiously to express that opinion. Not going to the polls is only denying yourself a voice in our government.

According to Dr. Sharon Jarvis, “If current voting trends continue, it is feared that by 2020 less than twenty-five percent of Americans will be making one hundred percent of the electoral decisions.” Something obviously needs to be done and this is why this issue has been a very hot topic. Ultimately, voting or not voting is a personal choice, and you have to feel motivated and willing to vote. Currently, there are many programs trying to persuade people to get out and vote and to make a difference. Our generation could clearly have a great impact on Texas politics with a larger percentage of young voter turnouts. As Jarvis said, “The legitimacy of a democracy depends on turnout, and we do not have a legitimate, stable system unless citizens participate.” The choice is in our hands to stand up for young voters and dramatically increase the number of “our people” at the polls.


Ngoc said...

Hello Justin. I agree that if all young voters were to vote, we would be able to make a great impact on the election turnout. However, we all know that most people our age aren’t interested in voting simple because politic isn’t one of our priority at the moment. Most college students do think that politic are boring and the idea we get that politicians are all corrupted comes from the movies we watch. Most movies these days portray government officials as the bad guys so this gives young people the impressions that they could not be trusted. The right to vote is a choice and willingness to vote requires personal motivation. Most college students don’t vote because they lack the motivation and having the belief that by not voting, it wouldn’t affect them. This is one of the major misconceptions because voting does affect every single one of us, maybe not directly but it would affect us in some way. I believe that until all young voters are aware that each vote would make a difference and we all feel the need to participate in making an impact in our own lives, the percentage of young votes turn out would still be low.

Lindsey Farias said...

Justin, I agree that more of our generation needs to vote. I am 21 years old and I am a strong believer in voting, but don't always do it. I make sure I vote for presidential elections, but I used to think that was the only thing that was important. I think it's just lack of knowledge on our part that the city or county elections are as important as presidential elections.

With technology and media these days, our minds are on something completely different than policital issues. Only when it has to do with us do we stand up and fight. Our minds are flooded with reality shows and what Paris eats for breakfast than politics. Politics has become a negative word to our ears because of different intersts and beliefs and of course the war. Young people strive so hard to get attention, by what we call emo, cutting themselves, starting drama, etc. And to think that voting raises our voice? When what or who we vote for doesn't win? That was just a waste of time! I believe all the above is the mindset that young people have now a days, and I've fallen victim to sometime in the past.

Now being just a few years older, and taking a government course to open my eyes to how important voting and other issues are other than who's president. My mindset has completely changed, and now I am going to make an effort to stay ontop of the local and state news, instead of so much of entertainment news.

KSeago said...

Very nice post. What's the answer? How do we get more young folks to vote?