Why Vote?

Lauren Tepper, Staff Writer

JSA held a pre-registration to vote as part of National Voter Registration Week, open to students 16 or older. Voting is a tool that allows every citizen to make their voices heard. Our country was founded on the principles of democratic participation. Youth voting is important because we can shape our future and have the power to make a difference. 

From 1972 to 2016, the proportion of ages 18 to 24 who reported voting in presidential elections decreased from 50% to 39%. In the 2016 election, only about 56% of U.S. citizens who were eligible to vote actually cast ballots. This means, out of 32 developed countries, the U.S. ranked 26th for voter turnout. Low voter turnout erodes our democracy, leaving us with a government that doesn’t represent us. We are in danger of losing rights and freedoms we take for granted. 

Your vote is your voice. Students and young people have the power to change everything. Higher education is becoming out of reach for too many Americans, health care is still a major problem that your votes can help solve, and climate change threatens everybody’s future. We owe it to our American heroes, for elections can have severe consequences that last for decades. The importance of voting extends to critical issues such as gun control, immigration, reproductive rights, worker’s rights, LGBTQ rights, taxes, and foreign policy.

Our life and happiness depends on voting. If you care about your future, want the best for your family, friends, peers, and the environment, you should vote in every election. Be part of the political decision-making process that impacts us all. The system only works if we participate in it. Inaction can have long-lasting ramifications that are hard to overcome when older.

Turning 18 is a huge milestone in life. One is finally considered an adult and have the privilege to vote. Your vote matters! We can change the world and we’re up next to do it! If you haven’t pre-registered to vote, visit www.RegisterToVote.ca.gov. Become automatically registered on your 18th Birthday and cast your vote on election day, November 3, 2020!