Midterm elections are coming up on November 6 and we all know what that means. You’ll hear several people urging you to “vote, vote, vote” but they don’t really tell you why. The thing is, there are various reasons why young people need to step up. In an effort to persuade you to vote, I’m going to break it down for you.
In recent years, voter turnout hasn’t exactly been desirable. According to fairvote.com, about 60% of eligible voters actually voted during presidential election years. Only 40% of eligible voters, however, voted in midterm election years. Both these percentages are less than that of other countries.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, the majority of people actually voting are older white men. This is unfortunate, because young eligible voters account for half of the voting population, yet they often choose to deny their civic duty.
One excuse I often hear is “My vote doesn’t even count.” This is a common viewpoint given the electoral college voted against the popular vote in 2016. We cannot, however, let this stop us from making our voices heard. If more young people vote, the electors will be forced to listen to us.
As young adults in America, we are being hit the most by the Great Recession. Areas such as college debt forgiveness and healthcare are in danger. This is our future, so why are we just standing by and allowing old, white men to decide it for us?
You might not care about politics now, but trust me when I say you will.
The divisiveness of the country in this two-party system of ours is chaotic. Young voters, however, might have the ability to change it. 35% of us who are registered to vote are independents. If more of us register and this trend continues, we may be one step closer to fixing the problem.
Another excuse I hear often for not voting is “I don’t know any of the candidates’ issues, so I feel like I can’t vote intelligently.”
The problem with this excuse is that a person’s lack of knowledge about a candidate is completely on them.
In this world of technology, it is easier than ever to educate yourself on politics and the different nominees. Just take an afternoon to google the issues each candidate cares about and form your own educated opinions. Yes, it’s that easy!
Yet another excuse that I’ve heard is “I don’t agree with either presidential candidate, so I don’t see a point in voting.”
I’ll let you all in on a little secret: It’s not just the presidential candidate on the ballot. In fact, when it comes to midterms, the president isn’t even on the ballot.
This midterm specifically may be the most crucial to the future of the country yet. We will be voting on the very people who make the laws and decide the fate of Supreme Court nominees and such.
You may or may not realize it but the government is struggling. Between the scandals, the controversies, the discord among parties and the challenges regarding important laws, there is a clear need for change. By voting next month, we can prompt this change.
Another excuse I hear all the time is “I can’t vote, I’m not from here.”
This excuse is invalid because there are several ways you can vote even if your just here for college.
First, every state has a way you can vote early by mail if you’re already registered there. If this is your plan, note that you might have to sign up ahead of time to do this.
Second, New Hampshire allows anyone who resides here for college to vote in elections as long as they register. To do this, you can visit your town clerk or register at the polling place on November 6. You must present an ID or sign an affidavit in order to register. A student ID is accepted and proof of residence may be required.
Unfortunately, beginning next July, a law to suppress college voting will be put into place. Given the circumstance, I urge you to take advantage of the current leniency and register to vote as soon as possible.
The last excuse for not voting that I hear way too often is “I don’t have time.” I get it. You have class all day and you have a bunch of homework to do but let me suggest something to you all. When something important like this comes up, you make time for it. Whether that means you have to get up a little earlier or get to class a little late, voting is your civic duty and should be taken seriously.
I hope everything I’ve shared here will be taken to heart and I once again urge you to vote November 6. Your voice has more power than you think and throwing around excuses only diminishes your force.