The final day to submit your application to vote was October 16th, in my home state of New Jersey. One question which has a complex, though seemingly simple answer, is why most college students elect not to vote. On one hand, to a college student filling out and submitting the paperwork can appear both troublesome and tasking, especially since the deadlines typically come about during college midterms week.
Most 18 to 22 year old's likely feel that to take time out of their busy schedule in order to apply to vote in an election where a single vote typically does not matter (especially in the case of midterm elections, which seem even more inconsequential), is simply not worth it. Furthermore, to spend November 6th at a polling location rather than studying or out with friends also has its drawbacks and little appeal, not garnering much support or attention from anyone.
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With this in mind, the question seems easy to answer. College students don't vote because they are too busy (more like too lazy to fit it in), or because they feel their voice doesn't matter. But what this fails to take into account is why, if students feel their votes don't matter, are college campuses some of the most politically active places in the United States, and even more why are college students some of the most politically active individuals. College students want their voices to be heard when they march through downtown with signs or hold rallies on their libraries steps, but can't quite understand that getting out to vote is a simple continuation of these rights.
Voting shouldn't feel like a chore. In a populace constantly advocating and fighting for total equality its necessary for every eligible citizen to get to the polls and voice their beliefs if we want change to occur.
In the case of Rutgers, laziness when it comes to registering to vote isn't an excuse, it's a choice. Over the past few weeks, various clubs and non-profits have presented multiple opportunities to register, many times they were even willing to mail in the ballot for you. In my case, they've reached out in multiple classes and identified multiple opportunities to take advantage, many of my teachers also offering to take part.
Taking this into account, how is the most politically active segment of the general population, that has been provided multiple opportunities to register the least likely group to get to the polls on November 6th? We are constantly fighting against and questioning the government powers which shape our everyday lives, but fail to take advantage of one of our most basic and cherished rights once we turn 18.
Maybe, though very unlikely, this year will be different. Social media petitioning and campus drives will finally have had an impact on voter turnouts and lead to a more active populace, whose voice might actually be heard. In a midterm election, this dream is unlikely, even more so considering the love from college students gained by Bernie Sanders in 2016, with him still falling short of the ballot. But whether you're going home, voting on campus, or mailing your ballot in, let your voice be heard. Get to the polls and vote.