Voters Should Vote Regardless of Previous Notions

Editorial Board

The election season is in full swing, and though this one has been quite eventful thus far, it has stayed relatively consistent with past elections. Candidates are taking their swings at their rivals, coming up with creative ways of how to most damage someone’s campaign within the 30 seconds that a television ad offers, or using debate platforms to match wits and catch a candidate tripping up on a certain topic. An outspoken Donald Trump is engaged in a battle for the GOP nomination with  an equally vocal Ted Cruz. The democratic party is a pretty heated conflict between anti-establishment darling Bernie Sanders and the ever present Hilary Clinton.

Regardless of what party you support, or whichever conflict you follow, truth of the matter is is that no matter how minuscule you believe your vote is, or who you vote for, or what your political beliefs are, it is crucial to vote. Voting is our right, and young people should use it not only to appoint our president, but also house representatives and senators, state and local legislatures, and policies that will change how we live our lives.

According to a USA Today/Rock the Vote poll, only a third of millenial republicans plan on voting in the republican primary, while only four in 10 millenial democrats plan on voting in any of the democratic primaries. Only six in 10 millenials plan on voting in the general election in November. What’s the cause for this? Well, there are a couple of factors.

Millenials many times don’t know who exactly to vote for when it comes to the general election. They don’t know the issues, they don’t know where these people stand on the issues, and they don’t know exactly how each candidate will fix these issues. Do the research. It doesn’t take much reading to see where a presidential candidate stands by reading one interview with them. Donald Trump makes his intentions clear from almost the onset, and Bernie Sanders is not that different when it comes to making his point known. Whether a student agrees with one view point or another, it is their responsibility to make an educated decision at the voter’s booth.

Another issue seems to be if the vote really matters. While it does seem as if the vote doesn’t really matter in at least the presidential election, state and local elections can be swayed by as much as a few votes. Fifty-five percent of millenials, according to that same USA Today poll, believe that there are better ways to make a difference other than voting, but oddly enough, three out of four millenials believe that voting can lead to making changes in their community. Though some may believe that there are other ways to make a difference, voting is a simple action that guarantees that at least a change will be made, even if it isn’t a huge one.

Not only are millenials crucial for electing officials to pass policies that we desire, but some policies and laws are put to a vote in a referendum to the people. This lets people actually pass the measures that they want to happen. Some of these measures could be like the one in Colorado that legalized marijuana in 2012, the measure that made the city of Canyon “wet” (legalization of alcohol sales) in 2014, or some things as minuscule as approving funding for a new highway or other infrastructure.

The right to vote is a crucial one, and one that young people shouldn’t take for granted, though it often happens. It should be embraced, and it should be used. Though it might not make the huge difference that one desires it to accomplish, it still is a small difference. A small difference is better than none at all.