A vote that counts

Photo by: Lillie Haycraft -- Student Mackenzie West holds the American Flag, representing her right to vote in the upcoming election.

November 4, 2015

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  Children have stereo-typically been told to be seen and not heard. All of their lives they have succumbed to the idea that they have no say in the world around them. There comes a time, however,  when teenagers get the chance to voice their opinion for the greater good.

  Voting was a right given to 18-20 year-olds in 1971 when the United States ratified the 26th Amendment. Though the youth are granted with the opportunity to vote, they seldom take it. Many teenagers have the mindset that voting does not matter. They frequently fall back into the idea that their voice is undesired or will not make a difference.

  “My voice is small, insignificant, and plays no part in office elections,” Bryce Lasky, senior, said.

   Unfortunately, young citizens are affected by the wake of economic downfall. Much of the youth population are consumed with college debt and troubled by a lack of jobs. Nothing will change by simply sitting and hoping for the best. No one else is going to cast a vote with the best interest of youth voters, except the youth.

  “I am making the choice to vote this upcoming year because I want to make a difference, even if it is small. Every vote counts and this country needs people like us to make a change,” Betsy Searle, senior, said.

  Many teens are unaware of the fact that young voters make up 20 percent of the voting population. That is one-fifth of all Americans, so the youth population has the ability to influence votes in a way best suited for them. Unfortunately, not everyone eligible to vote does, giving young voters less of a chance to sway an election due to the fact that 36 percent of eligible adult voters cast a vote.

  “I will be voting in the upcoming election because I feel that it is very important for everyone to share their opinions. I am excited to be able to finally be seen as a true member of the community and use my opinion to influence society,” Anastasia Hite, senior, said.

I am making the choice to vote this upcoming year because I want to make a difference, even if it is small. Every vote counts and this country needs people like us to make a change,”

— Betsy Searle

  Sadly, teens fail to realize that even though the government may not directly affect their lives today, in a couple of years, it will. Typically, college debt, taxes,  and the cost of living aren’t really factors that teens think about when planning their future. Even though a person can’t say where they will be four years from now, they can make decisions early on to help ensure their future years will run more smoothly.

  Voting is a right as a citizen of the United States, it is our duty to exercise that right. Many other countries do not even grant their citizens a voice in electing officials. Young voters get the privilege to be a part of the change in the world. The well-being of our democracy relies on everyone’s participation.

  

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