by MalloryConnealy & MeghanBartness
Arguably one of the most important parts of American democracy elections is the right to vote and participate in elections. People are called to vote for government of cials that align with their political ideals in order to elect a leader that represents the majority of the people. Before you vote, though, it’s important to understand the weight of your choice.
With the great power to vote comes great responsibility. Instead of merely copying your friends or parents’ political views, as a voter, it’s important to familiarize yourself with different candidates and issues in order to develop your own unique understanding of politics. Some ways you can expand your views are to simply watch the news, research political candidates, or converse with your peers to further develop your own ideas. Just because you identify with a certain political party, it doesn’t mean that your ideas align with only the candidates of that party.
While its important to vote for national elections, state legislations are equally significant. Upcoming state elections begin on Nov. 8, including governor and state senate. According to Student Services data, 28% of Marian seniors are turning 18 by the upcoming election.
In the 2020 presidential election, 50% of 18-29 year olds participated in voting. This demonstrates an 11 percent increase from the 2016 election. It is clear that this generation of young adults is changing the perception of political participation through voting.
With this generation being more politically aware, it is reasonable to question if minors should be able to vote, starting at age 16. The decisions made by the state and federal governments continue to affect our lives. Teenagers are tasked with the responsibility of having jobs that pay taxes, yet we are not trusted to vote. We are witnesses to the ever changing world but are left silenced in helping
to find solutions to problems that we haven’t created. If given the opportunity to voice our political
opinions, the current generation of young adults could spark new conversations in politics.
Although some young adults demonstrate enough maturity to have the right to vote, some can’t handle the power of partaking in major political decisions. While our generation is perceived as responsible, it is clear that we can be easily influenced by social media, peers, and outside opinions. It’s not up to our generation whether or not we receive the right to vote. However, we can advocate for our future by simply sparking conversations. Showing support within your community is easy just by participating in walks or peaceful protests, reaching out to local representatives, and once you’re of age, educating yourself and utilizing your right to vote.