When our country was founded in 1776, only white, male landowners, 21 years and older, could vote. Now every law abiding U.S citizen of 18 years of age and older can vote in local and national elections. The U.S allows for anyone over the age of 18 who is a citizen the right to choose what they desire and demand for their country. In the 1996 and 2000 elections only 30% of young adults voted. While young people make up a large portion of the voting-eligible population, they’re much less likely than those who are older to actually vote.
This year was a critical presidential election year, meaning it was even more crucial for the younger generation to vote. The presidential election determines how the next four years, and possibly more, will affect the country. The effects of the president’s actions can leave lasting impacts on generations to come.
Some of this year’s seniors at NLRHS had the privilege of voting in this year’s election and shared their perspectives.
According to senior Clayton Jolly, “If people skip out on voting they are skipping out on what makes a democracy so great. They are missing out on an opportunity for their voices to be heard.”
During trying times, such as the coronavirus pandemic, countries need strong leaders to properly lead their country into a better era. That is why the vote of informed, younger generations is vital.
When senior Abbey Draper was asked about why she believed elections were so important, she stated, “Elections are a very big deal, and I don’t think a lot of people realize that. When you choose to vote, you are helping to decide who is making decisions for our country. And voters have to be informed so that they can select the best people to represent our country, or there could be consequences.”
Voters in the U.S and all around the world should be informed on the policies and most significant issues of political candidates and the current social and political climate around the world as a way to gauge who they should vote for. Draper also gave a hypothetical situation by stating, “Say a whole bunch of voters were uninformed and voting for a candidate they didn’t know anything about, then that candidate gets elected and it turns out they were a really bad candidate. So now we have someone really bad making decisions for us. This would be a consequence of not being an informed voter.”
This hypothetical situation really highlights the need for citizens to remain informed and most importantly to vote. Without our powerful system of voting, we as a people lose our ability to make necessary and relevant decisions for our futures.