The Totem Online

Importance of Voting

Rebecca Donaldson

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Why aren’t more young people participating in elections? Is it because they are lazy or just don’t care about the election?

Granted teens are labeled as unmotivated often, it is often the latter of the two. Until recently, there was nothing targeted at young people to encourage voting. All campaigns and advertisements seem to be directed toward the older generations.

Now that the voting system has become more modernized, there is more of a push toward 18 to 25-year-olds participating. Some changes benefiting them are online registration and advanced ballots. Kansas allows voters to request ballot by mail. You must complete this application early, be accepted, and fill paperwork before receiving the ballot.

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, only 56% of eligible young voters exercise their vote. By registering as soon as you can, you are already more likely to vote than those who wait an election or two.

The sooner you register, the quicker you can start your research on the candidates of any electoral vote.

If you don’t have time to do research on each candidate, a quick way to learn is using Voteeasy.votesmart.org. You can take select a topic important to you and see which candidates have similar or opposite views. Topics include abortion, educations, guns, etc.

Also check local newspapers for candidate overviews. The week before elections, most papers will publish an overview of each candidate to give you general information.

Most first-time voters don’t know what voting looks like. To prepare, sample ballots can be found through Google. Look at the format and understand what you need to know and fill out.

Voting does not require weeks of preparation. Sit down and decide which candidates are most similar to values and those opposite. It is more simple than you think.

Although there will be a winning candidate, it does not matter if your vote was not for that candidate. Don’t be scared to vote for the wrong candidate. If you believe they are most fit for the proposed position, then it will not be incorrect.

As an American citizen, you need to exercise your rights and civic duties. Those who complain about candidates winning their area, often made no effort to impact this decision.

Use the freedoms that you are privileged to have often and correctly. Be an informed, prepared, and confident voter.

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The School Newspaper of Shawnee Heights High School
Importance of Voting