The right to vote is the most important civic right granted to U.S. citizens. It provides us with a say in who runs our country and represents us to the world, as well as which laws and bills will be enacted.
Ironically, the right to vote is one of the most under-utilized liberties we have.
In 2012, approximately 93 million U.S. citizens did not exercise their right to vote in the presidential election, according to bipartisanpolicy.org. Only 40 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 voted.
Young adults have always had a lower voter turnout rate than other age groups, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While this may not seem like a problem to some, it’s important to remember young adults are part of the Millennials, the largest generation in American History.
Additionally, the 2016 presidential election will affect young adults the most. Whoever is voted in as president will be making decisions that will affect America for decades, effectively shaping the country young adults will inherit.
This means the largest group of Americans with the most at stake in the elections is repeatedly voting at lower rates than other Americans.
Hopefully, this will not be the case for the 2016 presidential election. This election has been one of the most divisive in American history, and there is a lot at stake – from the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice, to climate change, to our healthcare system, to LGBTQ rights.
We at The Gatepost urge FSU students to take advantage of their fundamental right as American citizens and vote this coming November.
It is easy to fall for the cynical “your vote doesn’t really count” rhetoric. Many claim they no longer have faith in the current electoral system, especially the Electoral College.
Millennials are deciding their votes don’t count. The problems that matter to them aren’t being addressed. The politicians who are elected aren’t doing their jobs. Society is constantly labeling them as lazy, entitled and selfish.
So that begs the question – would you vote if you were constantly being told you’re not important?
The problem with this rhetoric is the Millennial vote is important. Considering Millennials are the largest generation, we have the greatest influence in this election. Our votes do matter. In fact, We at The Gatepost believe the Millennial vote matters the most.
So, turn in your absentee ballot or make sure to show up that Tuesday in November, and make your vote count.