Get Out And Vote

The+election+is+Tuesday.+Senior+Editor+Vivian+Aviles+tells+Taft+students+to+get+out+and+vote%21

The election is Tuesday. Senior Editor Vivian Aviles tells Taft students to get out and vote!

Vivian Aviles, Editor

It’s crucial that all eligible student voters at Taft get out and vote on election day. 

Many 18 year olds are concerned with college and school, and lead busy lives. However, elections are extremely important, and young eligible voters need to make time to get up and hit the polls, or vote early. If there is time to watch an episode of a TV show on Netflix or to go hangout with friends, then there is time to take 15 minutes to make an impact on the country. There are no excuses. 

For the first time in U.S. history, the amount of millennials and Gen Z voters will be equal to the number of baby boomers and older generations who are eligible to vote. This means that the youth vote will have the greatest impact yet on the election, making it more important than ever for them to rise to action and complete their civic duty rather than continue to ignore the world of politics and power. 

It is very important for young people to vote. Their lives are impacted by government whether they participate in our democracy or not. They are granted a voice, and they should be heard. Youth are as much a part of this country as anyone else,” said civics teacher Donald Desalvo via email.  

To help increase young voter engagement, it’s vital that Taft teachers are putting emphasis on the election and the value of voting so that students who couldn’t care less about government and authority will be more likely to make voting a priority. 

My goal is to make sure that I inform my students first, give them things that they can share with their friends or with their families, and encourage them to be the megaphones that help their country to understand through their actions the importance and power of the vote. [I] have spent, and will continue to spend, time discussing the structure of the electoral college, and discussions of the presidential campaigning process. I also tasked my government students with predicting the final electoral vote on election day,” said AP Government and Politics teacher Allie Niese. 

The reason that many young people do not vote is because they are unable to recognize the weight that the action of voting can hold. Not understanding the power in a vote is dangerous, as this will lead to lack of young voter engagement because youth won’t see a reason to try and make their voices heard. 

“Getting young people to vote is very difficult. Young people often struggle to see the impact of government and elected officials in their lives. Or, they don’t see a benefit to voting,” said Desalvo.

Voting defines who individuals are as Americans, and it is essential that young people understand this so that their opinions will be taken into consideration when votes are being counted to determine the country’s leader for the next four years. 

“Our vote is our identity as a citizen, our calling card, the thing we use to display the fact that we are giving consent to the government that leads us. That vote itself allows us to say to government that we allow you to exist, we accept these policies and these ideas that you are giving to us. It can also say, too, that we disagree, “I’m going to vote for somebody else because I don’t think that the policies of this particular candidate are wise and conducive to the needs of the people,” the power of the vote is the power to have your voice heard,” said Niese. 

While it can be difficult for youth to view themselves as impactful in many aspects of their lives, voting can make a young person feel influential and powerful. Voting is a young person’s chance to truly make a difference and be a voice for their own beliefs, but also for those living in America who don’t have the privilege of participating in elections. 

“I decided I was going to vote because I want to be a part of the possible change in our country. I want to put the people who don’t have a voice into consideration when I vote because I feel like that would be the only way to make a positive impact on everyone from the election. Voting will slowly start shaping our future decisions in candidates for future elections. If I didn’t vote, I would regret it for the next four years,” said senior Vanessa Zalewski. 

“Voting made me feel important and like what I thought actually mattered for once. It made me feel like my opinions were valid and would be taken into account. We all live in this country and deserve to have our thoughts considered,” said senior Dina Pajazetovic. 

Young people who aren’t voting because they don’t know who to vote for should utilize sources such as The Political Galaxy, VOTE411, ISideWith.com, and Vote For Judges to learn about candidates in the upcoming election and take quizzes to see which candidates their views align with. 

Voting is not hard. Voting is not time consuming. Voting is not something to put on the back burner. Voting is urgent, voting is detrimental, voting is necessary. Choosing to not vote means failing as an American citizen and telling the government that they can do as they please. Don’t be lazy, don’t be careless. Just go vote. 

Political Galaxy: https://votesmart.org/galaxy/#/

VOTE411: https://www.vote411.org/

ISideWith.com: https://www.isidewith.com/

Vote for Judges: https://www.voteforjudges.org/