#23 TRENDING IN Opinion 🔥

Vote Young, Vote Often

Opinion

Sat, March 09

In the midst of what some may consider the most important election coming up in November, we should recognize that everyone has the right to vote. As citizens, however, we are responsible for creating a government that represents the citizens' wishes. Voter turnout among young people needs to be increased because every year about 4 million Americans turn 18, and now is the time for them to exercise their right to vote for themselves and their fellow citizen's future.

Even though I am still a year away from turning 18 I can only imagine how every 18-year-old feels going through the process of making such a big decision. With the pressure of family, the media, and their peers their decision to vote and who to vote for causes a lot of stress. 18-year-olds are questioning who they stand for now more than ever and since they are an adult they are granted to make an impactful choice. As a country, we’ve gotten better at encouraging our young voters to go out and use their voices. No matter who they stand for, their race, gender, and or beliefs, everyone's vote matters. The older I get and the more I educate myself on voting the excitement of turning 18 and registering as a voter grows more and more. We need to continue to teach the youth of America that you shouldn’t be scared to vote but instead be proud of yourself.

Why should I?

Young people should vote because their voices and opinions matter in shaping the future of their country. It can be hard to find the confidence within to think your vote counts. If you think that you shouldn’t vote because one less person voting won’t make a difference then you’d be wrong.

By participating in the voting process, young voters can influence policies and decisions that directly impact their lives and the lives of future generations. Voting is a fundamental right and responsibility that allows individuals to have a say in the direction of their society. On the other side of the spectrum, most people think that they’ll just register later and then completely forget about it until the next election comes. Each state is different but for example, in the state of New Jersey, you need to wait 21 days until you can vote after you register. When you register to vote the process isn’t the hardest thing you’ll ever do since it's mainly just putting in information you already have so do it now so that you’re set for the rest of your adult life. It will be worth it.

Does my vote really count?

Most voters, especially young voters, aren't educated enough on how the voting process works. This brings a lot of questions into the discussion and one of those is does my vote really count? It can be hard to believe that the voting booths don’t miss a single vote but voting has evolved for hundreds of years and now they’ve figured out the easiest, quickest, and most efficient way for people to vote and for the votes to be counted.

I can understand how it can be hard to believe that your single vote will make a difference or that there could be a possibility that the voting booths aren’t counting your vote. When people get in their head about their vote really counting it tends to come from a rumor they heard. You can’t believe everything you hear from people because many of the people saying that your vote won’t count are the ones trying to convince people not to vote. You can find many fake stories about people claiming that their vote didn’t go through or that someone rejected their vote and on top of that powerful politicians like Donald Trump and his supporters claimed that the 2020 election was a fraud all because he didn’t win.

Early morning reminder that the 2020 Presidential election President Trump won by a landslide was stolen by Democrats via election fraud. Have a good day. pic.twitter.com/UHUm8GgHfK

— Rapidsloth (@Rapidsloth\_) February 29, 2024

As years go by people get less scared and tend to not listen to false stories. For example the rate of registered voters every year from 2008-2019 there was a rapid increase. There are slight shifts between most years but the most in the years of presidential elections for example the presidential election between Trump and Clinton in 2016 we can assume that the number of registered voters increased because those people realized it was finally time for them to step in and use their voice to make a change for their country.

Judgment of others

For young and new voters one of the most pressuring things is being judged by others especially family and friends who are older than you. When you grow up you are most likely exposed to your family member’s political opinions and just through human nature the odds of you having the same political opinions as your family is very likely. This has to do with the fact that you're young and it’s what you’ve been told to believe.

But as you get older and start to learn more about politics you start to learn more about yourself and learn more about how certain political parties have their own beliefs and which ones you believe in the most. According to Pennsylvania State University, “More than half of all children in the U.S. either misperceive or reject their parents’ political party affiliations.” It is not uncommon for children to develop their own political beliefs and affiliations that differ from those of their parents. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, including generational differences, exposure to diverse perspectives, and individual experiences. As children grow and mature, they may form their own opinions based on their values, beliefs, and experiences, which may not always align with those of their parents. Once it comes time for these parents' kids to vote, the pressure of their parents' political beliefs is riding on their backs. When these 18-year-olds are voting for the first time and they have different political beliefs than their family, a feeling of guilt and betrayal creeps up on them. This guilt and betrayal can come from things parents or family have threatened their kids with if they don’t vote the same as the family. No one should feel the need to share their political beliefs with anyone if they don't feel comfortable. It’s inevitable that when two people share different political beliefs there will be some tension but there's no need for judgment up front to the person.

In conclusion

The upcoming election in November serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of every individual's right to vote. As citizens, it is our responsibility to actively participate in the democratic process and ensure that our government truly represents the wishes of the people. Increasing voter turnout among young people is essential, as they hold the power to shape the future of our nation.

Despite the pressures and uncertainties that come with making such significant decisions, it is vital for 18-year-olds and all eligible voters to exercise their right to vote and make their voices heard. As a country, we must continue to encourage and empower our young voters to engage in the electoral process with confidence and pride. Regardless of differences in beliefs or backgrounds, every vote matters and contributes to the collective voice of our democracy. By educating and supporting the youth of America, we can cultivate a culture of civic engagement and ensure a more inclusive and representative government for all.

Gabby Quiceno

Writer since Nov, 2023 · 3 published articles

Gabby enjoys spending time with her friends and family on the weekends. She loves traveling the world and wants to study abroad in college. Other activities she partakes in out of school are dance, reading, and baking. Her favorite subjects in school are history and english.

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