In the United States, 18 to 24 year olds account for one of the largest population segments; however, in terms of voter turnout rates, this demographic participates the least in political elections. Our generation is labeled as politically apathetic and civically unengaged by both older generations and political leaders. This trend must change; with the midterm elections around the corner, it is time to get educated and registered in order to cast a vote. These facts bring us to a few commonly asked questions regarding the voting process.
Should I Vote?
The brief answer is yes. Essentially, voting is every American citizen's civic duty. Participating in the democratic system ensures the survival of the representative democracy system.
Realistically, the Trump administration is inadvertently shifting political norms and inciting increased polarization across party lines. Voting is more important than ever during the Trump presidency, and political indifference is no longer an option. In order to spur positive change, individuals must firmly believe in their personal values and convictions and vote for the candidates that best align with those values. Choosing not to vote ensures that our demographic does not obtain the high priority it deserves on Washington's political agenda; instead, politicians choose to focus their efforts on active small minorities which do not represent the needs of the nation as a whole.
How do I vote?
Nowadays, registering to vote is becoming increasingly easier. A few ways to register include going to your college's voter registration drives or visiting your state's voter registration website (for my fellow Californians, I'll drop the link here: https://registertovote.ca.gov/). After successfully registering yourself as a United States voter, there are multiple options for voting day procedure. Absentee and early mail-in votes are great options--and the two most popular ballots after in-person voting.
Multiple senators, house representatives, and local government officials are up for re-election. If these politicians do not represent your values, do not sit idly. Educate yourself on alternative candidates (Google will be your best friend), register to vote, and turn out to vote.
In the words of Grey's Anatomy great, Christina Yang,"If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, stop accepting crap and demand something more."
Frustration with the political system means little without corresponding activism. Change is not spurred by lackadaisical behavior; rather, it requires a plethora of voices striving to inspire greatness for a better world.
This November, join this movement and cast your vote.