As a college student, you may not yet be accustomed to life as an adult in the real world, but once college is over, there’s a good chance you will be searching for jobs, raising children, and shopping for houses. The people elected to government office have the power to affect the economy in ways that can either help you or hurt you as you try to make it in life.
Helping to ensure qualified candidates you trust to get the job done are elected is no small luxury. Voting in local and national elections is crucial to your future well-being.
Your Vote Affects Your College
Elections don’t just affect your future, but your current college life, too. Some candidates strongly advocate for more affordable tuition costs or more funding for schools. Some candidates advocate the opposite of that.
The government has more to do with schooling than you may think. If you want to receive the best educational opportunities possible, you can make a real difference by voting for candidates whose policies align with the changes and improvements you’d like to see. Even if you’re near graduation and the change may not happen in time to affect you, you should still vote. You may still have friends or siblings that could benefit, and someday your children may go to college, too.
You Can Change the Outcome of an Election
Most people don’t vote because their single contribution to the election may seem miniscule in comparison to the total number of votes. But votes add up just like cents. If you’d take time to pick up a penny off the ground, you should take the time to cast your ballot, too.
Did you know only about half of people in the United States vote in presidential elections? The numbers are even lower for the college students’ age group. Less than 20% of citizens aged 18-29 voted in 2014. With turnout numbers that low, it’s hard to gauge an accurate estimate of which candidates the country as a whole supports. If more people speak up and vote, the candidates who truly represent the public are much more likely to be put into power.
It’s Not as Hard as You Think
Voting seems daunting in college because it may be your very first opportunity to do so, and you probably don’t know how the electoral process works. That fear of the unknown will never go away if you don’t take the leap, do your research, and learn by doing. Figuring out your local and state’s requirements for voter registration and what you’ll be expected to do on poll day is as simple as performing a couple of Google searches. All of the information you’ll need is at your fingertips, and if all else fails, you can always ask someone who has experience voting to help you.
Voting is a right that not everyone around the world has, and not everyone in the United States has had forever. Voting is powerful, which is why the government denied certain groups, such as women and African Americans, the ability to cast their ballot for so long. It’s why those groups fought so hard to make elections fair and voting accessible to all citizens.
Of course, with the right to vote comes the right not to vote, but why let that ability go to waste? No one is completely neutral or unaffected about who gets elected into office. Everyone has a preference, and if you vote, your candidate automatically has a higher chance of winning.