Rock the vote

Editorials

Young voters could outnumber Baby Boomers

By The Schoolcraft 
Connection Editorial Staff

Just like with exercising, there are a million and one excuses to not vote. One of the primary excuses when it comes to voting is not feeling the need to vote or feeling that one vote doesn’t matter. However, that perception is not the case, every vote matters.

Image from vice.com Young voters need to be informed and enthuastic to have the opportunity to vote in impactful elections.
Image from vice.com
Young voters need to be informed and enthuastic to have the opportunity to vote in impactful elections.

With new issues and politicians present in governmental races, societal changes are bound to happen. Although these changes will affect everyone in the country, younger generations, such as the Millennials, will arguably be the most impacted. Millennials need to realize the fact that they can make an impact when it comes to voting. According to the United States Census in June 2015, there are 83.1 million Millennials that represent more than one quarter of the nation’s population, exceeding the Baby Boomers by about 8 million.

If every eligible young person voted, important issues that will be in place during majority of their lifetimes could be decided for the better. Although it is important for everyone to vote in America’s democratic society, if Millennials use their force in numbers, they can be more powerful than previous generations and make a real change.

As U.S. citizens, we are privileged with the right to vote, and it is our duty as citizens to register and vote on Election Day. Unfortunately, according to livescience. com on Nov. 5, 2012, roughly 40 percent of Americans do not participate in the presidential election. This number needs to increase to ensure that the candidates voted in will represent America in the most accurate way possible. One problem keeping this number low is that some young eligible voters are unaware of the procedure of voting.

The first step is registering to vote. Without the power to vote, citizens do not have a voice. To vote in the state of Michigan, one must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18-years-old, a resident of Michigan and a resident of the town or city one is applying to register to vote in. Potential voters can register online at vote.usa.gov or in person at their local Secretary of State office. Registration is only mandatory once unless you change addresses.

Once registered, it is time to attend the poll of the respective precinct on Election Day. All that is needed is a valid ID, and then voters are sent to a booth to bubble in the people they would like to vote for on the ballot. It is important to know that not everything on the ballot must be voted for. If there are several positions up for election, voters can choose to vote for as few or as many of the positions as they choose. When the ballot is complete, voters place their ballot into a machine and are free to leave with a sticker promoting voting. After the first time attending the polls, voters may be eligible to fill out an absentee ballot for the next election, meaning they don’t need to go out of the way to the voting location. See longdistancevoter.org for the qualifications needed.

Before it is important to prepare as if you are preparing for a crucial test. Your decisions could affect years to come. Thus, it firstly is most important to evaluate your own beliefs and opinions on what needs to change in the community and what needs to remain the same. Even the most vocal and committed supporters of an issue might never have examined why they feel a certain way or why they believe what they do, but it is important to understand why you support certain campaigns and ideas.

Once voters know what they want, it is necessary to for them to become educated on the candidates and view their proposals regarding economy, education, etc. in order to find the candidate that will best represent their beliefs. There are an abundance of resources voters can access to educate themselves on candidates running for office for city, state or presidency, but it is best to find nonbiased ones—a campaign page will only show you appealing aspects of a candidate. Voters can visit.vote411.org for information about registering, voting, candidates and the importance of voting.

Break the trend and make politics and civic activity more important in society. The only way to do that is by making educated votes. The future of America is in the hands of every citizen, especially the Millennials, when it comes to the direction our country can take. By voting in the correct candidates, Americans can ensure their decisions will positively affect