It’s election season.
Early voting polls opened Monday morning for the Nov. 4 midterms that are quickly approaching.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Voting is a hassle because you don’t have time; you aren’t in your hometown (unless you’re from Abilene), your vote doesn’t actually matter”¦ etc., etc.
But I’m here to tell you that as college students, it couldn’t be more important for us to vote.
The United States Census Bureau reported that in the 2012 presidential election, only 38 percent of voters ages 18-24 voted. This number is relatively low compared to older demographics whose turnouts were all more than 50 percent. This trend is not a new one, and, in fact, young people eligible to vote historically have a lower level of engagement.
I think many young people get caught up in the idea that their one vote doesn’t matter or couldn’t make any difference. But when thousands of young people start falling in this line of thinking, the polls start to take a hit.
While some may think there is no hope for the future of America, there are still young people who care about voting.
Caleb Orr, sophomore political science major from McKinney, said he thinks young people’s votes could have an impact on this fall’s races.
“One of the reasons people don’t vote is because they think their vote doesn’t matter,” said Caleb Orr, sophomore political science major from McKinney. “But, organized ACU students could have a huge effect on state representative races. If the student vote aligned on certain issues, it could force candidates to adapt to those interests once in office”
If enough took the time and effort to cast their ballot, elected candidates would notice and listen to what we have to say.
So here is my call to action.
Unfortunately, new voter registration ended Oct. 6. So if you have recently turned 18 and forgot to register, I’m afraid you have missed the boat. But for those of you already registered, fear not.
If you aren’t from Abilene or won’t be traveling home before Nov. 4, it’s not too late to request your absentee ballot. It will be sent right to your little ACU mailbox for you to fill out. Research the candidates a little, and find out who you want to cast your vote for and participate in this important civic duty.
I’m proud to say this will be my first election to vote in. And as nerdy, cheesy, and well, patriotic as this may sound, I am kind of excited.