What’s the Big Deal about Voting?

Erin Seaton, Design Editor

2020 is certainly an important year. Why so?

It’s not just because Tokyo is scheduled to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games or because I’m finally turning 21. This year, current president Donald Trump is up for re-election against a yet-to-be-determined Democratic candidate. At the moment, there are currently five Democrats remaining in the race for candidacy – Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, and Tulsi Gabbard. There is one Republican vying for candidacy – Bill Weld – but it looks as though Trump will remain the incumbent.

Now you might be wondering – why is this relevant to me? Why should I care? You should care because you are part of an extremely influential generation. The current generation in college today is a tough one to specifically define – born at the end of the Millennial age group but not quite young enough to be placed in Generation Z, “GenZennials”, according to an article on zypmedia.com, comprise about 20 percent of the voting population in America, with 92 percent of them planning to vote. While that may not sound like a huge statistic in comparison to the rest of our country’s population, it’s certainly enough to make a difference.

If you voice your opinions about who should or should not lead the country yet don’t turn out to vote – I’m sorry to say, but you’re a part of the problem. According to an article on theconversation.com, roughly 40% to 90% of Americans do not go to the polls for both local and national elections, which is a serious issue. If only a certain percentage of the population turns out to vote, then only a certain percentage of the population’s thoughts and ideas are represented in government. So you can’t get upset that your favorite candidate didn’t win the election when you didn’t even go and vote for them.

It is also extremely important, especially in this new generation of voters, to stay informed on current affairs and the campaign issues of current candidates. Unsure of where to start? A good way to break into the political scene is to get involved locally; for example, Donna Deegan and John Rutherford are both running for Congress in Florida’s 4thCongressional District. Working on a local campaign is a great way to learn more about your preferred political party and become more politically active.

So don’t be lazy this electoral year – get out and get involved! While it may seem that one voice against millions of other Americans may seem small and insignificant, you’ve no idea of the others who share your views and opinions. The more people who turn out and vote and speak their minds, the more likely we are as a country to elect a leader who will not lead with hate and injustice but lead fairly and justly and provide, as quoted in the Pledge of Allegiance, “liberty and justice for all.” Yes, for ALL.