Importance of Student Voting in The U.S


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In any democratic country, elections are an essential aspect. Every individual in these societies should exercise their democratic right of participating in the process. However, many people, especially the student population underestimate the importance attached to the election process. For some, the process is only meant for certain factions in the society that are aspiring for leadership roles. These groups fail to understand that their welfare, as well as that of the future generations, is dependent on the leadership in the current and subsequent administrations. The people elected to these positions naturally become determiners of the nation’s destiny. Therefore, participating in the elections is a fundamental aspect. Abraham Lincoln once said that ‘Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision.’ He further argued that if the people decided not to exercise their democratic right on the ballot, then they should also be prepared to sit on the blisters which were the fruits of bad leadership and governance.  Students should vote because such initiatives have immense significance for their welfare and the country. 

The American population primarily comprises of the young people that make up the largest percentage of the total population. Additionally, these young people are students in various institutions pursuing different programs. This part of the population represents the future of America. The elections become an integral part of governance and policies that would result from the process would directly impact on their lives.  Therefore, it begs for their participation in the whole process thus making their voices be heard by choosing the kind of leadership that they believe would help to move the American nation forward.  

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First, and of most importance, students should vote by virtue that it is their democratic right. Democracy is not cheap. It was won by the generations that preceded us through hardships and struggle. Looking back, our forefathers did not enjoy the freedom of choosing their leaders or determining the direction they wanted their governments to take. For instance, during the colonial period, the leaders were imposed on the people, and most of their rights were suppressed. Most of the critical decisions regarding governance were made by the colonial governments, and the people did not have the mandate to question such decisions. It required great dedication and sacrifices to attain democracy. 

The students in the U.S are privileged to live in a democratic world. In this generation, there are countries which do not have democratic political institutions. For instance, in countries like Syria and the Congo, the citizens are denied their fundamental rights to vote and make their voices be heard. Therefore, these citizens do not possess the right of offering governance opinions that would help to shape their governments and future. Living in a privileged country like the U.S, which boasts to be the mother of democracy, the students should come out in large numbers to exercise their right. 

Voting gives the students an opportunity to be in charge. As a teen, it is very rare to get a chance of being in charge and make independent decisions because at most times the students are bound by the rules of their parents. However, the election gives the students a fundamental opportunity to make critical choices. The students get to have a say on who should be elected to particular governmental positions based on their ideologies and the promise of delivery. Moreover, it gives them the opportunity to scrutinize the politicians based on their political stands on particular issues that directly affect them such as racism in institutions, extremism, employment, healthcare, and social benefit programs such as interests on program fees. In this perspective, it helps the student to make their voices be heard in matters affecting their well being. Every student’s vote counts. Every vote that is cast in favor of the leaders that have the best interests of the country and its people at heart would help to steer America to another new level in the coming generations.  

Furthermore, having the power to take charge helps the American students to decide the people that would bring a change in the nation. For instance, in the U.S most of the policies are made in the Congress before being assented to by the President. Once made, the policies are not selective to the extent that they apply to the people who voted or did not engage in the democratic process. They are bound to apply to anyone living within the borders of the nation, regardless of their social status in the community. The policies developed to affect the lives of the students directly in their everyday lives. Therefore, it is paramount for the students to vote to determine the kind of policymakers that would make laws in the Congress. For those that are not prepared to vote, they should not be too quick to criticize the policies or type of governance in place but live by it. Echoing the words of Abraham Lincoln those who do not vote should be prepared to enjoy the blisters of bad governance and the resulting consequences.

The students should also understand that change does not just happen. Somebody cannot just sit at home waiting for change to happen. In this world, everyone is the change that they desire to see or have. Therefore, change requires participation. It is only through involvement that the students will be able to change the leadership of the U.S. It is through participation that the greatness of the American nation will be restored again. Over the years, most of the institutions in America have become compromised. They no longer stand for the values, vision, and mission statements for which they were established. Consequently, some elements have penetrated and manipulated some of the most respected and admired American institutions such as the police force. Some years back, the American Police force used to be the pride of the American People and a marvel of many people across the world. However, with time, the pride that was associated with this institution has been eroded, living it with little credibility and public confidence. Therefore, the restoration of these institutions requires the participation of every student through the ballot. It is only through voting the right leaders that proper laws will be instituted to restructure these institutions and restore their faded glory. The U.S students should understand that change starts by first taking a step forward to be part of the change that you desire to see.

Participating in the voting process helps the student to be connected with the current events and the national politics. Living in a country without getting in touch with political and current events would make you lose out on many important things. For instance, it can be likened to being in a relationship where there is no connection between the two spouses. The political events in a particular country shape the economic and the social activities in that particular environment. For instance, when the political environment is hostile, the economic environment is likely to shrink since most of the economic factors are determined by the environment in which they are in operation. 

A hostile political environment does not allow the economy to thrive since most businesses tend to close shop due to the fear of uncertainty. Therefore, the economy might experience a recession period, which trickles down to everyone in the society. Therefore, student participation in the elections gives them greater engagement in the political world which is critical in shaping the economic and social environments. Furthermore, it exposes the students to policy initiatives vital in their lives. For instance, most college students are in college debts and lack jobs that would help them to better their situations. As a consequence, to better address their plight, the students should be in touch with the political matters and currents. It would help them identify the areas that they would require to see change, thus supporting the people that would best represent their needs in the government. It is only by the engagement of the students that the leaders would be compelled to address their issues since this group forms a larger percentage of the voters in the country.    

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Historically, the American elections have been dominated by two parties, the Democrats, and the Republicans. Over the years, most of the people have identified themselves with these political heavyweights. However, things are bound to change in future. In the coming days, the youths comprising of the bulk of the population will come up with a new wing that is likely to challenge the two-party system. The millennial electorate, being a very diverse group is less likely to identify with either the Democrats or the liberals.  For instance, in the latest two elections conducted in the U.S, this group identified themselves more with the independent candidates rather than the candidates that were aligned to either the Republican or the democratic fronts

The students, being a diverse group, can use their demographics to push for alternative political parties that they feel would represent the diverse population using an agenda that is more inclusive. The students should be actively involved in the process and help eliminate the notion that the American nation would only be governed by the ideologies of only two parties. It is most likely that when the manifestos of the parties were developed, they did not take into account the diverse nature of the young populations thus exclusivity.   

Additionally, student participation in elections would help to shape the foreign policies and environmental issues. Most of the foreign policies are made by the national leaders in Washington DC. For instance, the policies encompass intervention in world affairs by either providing military support or economic support. In most cases, the students are the most affected lot. The politicians only make the laws and the students are the people that are deployed to these regions to accomplish the missions. Therefore, the students should vote through their participation in the development of the laws that would provide them with a suitable working environment in the foreign countries. 

The foreign policies would help to address other problems such as the immigration policies that directly affect the students.  For instance, a higher influx of foreigners in the country would eliminate the number of jobs available for the locals rendering them jobless. It would also present other problems such as over-crowding in institutions such as schools and health centers, thus negatively impacting on the efficiency of the care delivered. In relation to the environmental issues, the political space provides a platform for discussing some of the issues that are likely to have devastating effects on the environment in the future. For instance, climate experts indicate that the climate is likely to change for worse due to the effect of the environmental factors.

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 Over the last decade, the emission of nuclear and carbon gasses into the atmosphere has significantly increased the depletion of the ozone layer. In effect, it has exposed the earth’s surface to the devastating effects of excessive heat from the sun. For instance, the world is likely to experience extreme weather conditions such as increased flash floods due to the rise of the sea level. Also, some regions are also likely to experience extreme drought conditions. Therefore, voting is important for the students since it would enable them to have an opinion on environmental matters that will affect them and their future generations. 

Moreover, student participation in elections helps to keep the politicians accountable. Most politicians have developed the art of using the voters as a stepping stone to public service jobs. After being elected, instead of working for the people, they focus on propagating their interests. At times, they misappropriate funds meant to help the community and loot public funds to finance their projects or fund their expensive lifestyle. Therefore, it is only by voting that students can be able to hold these leaders accountable. They would be able to analyze if they delivered according to the promises they made during the campaign period, or they performed dismally, therefore, do not deserve to be re-elected.     

Apart from voting for the national leaders, the students should also vote to elect leaders in their local constituencies and states. Away from the national politics, they are policies developed and implemented within each state that directly affects the students. For instance, the labor laws which majorly affect the college students might vary from one state to the other. Therefore, voting for the local representatives comprising of the senators and the local officials is essential. In the past elections, unlike the elections of the presidential candidates, the local representatives’ elections have experienced a significantly low voter turnout. From the statistics provided, it can be deduced that most of the voters, especially the college voters attached less importance to the local elections and as a consequence fail to vote.  The students should be made to understand that the local representatives are fundamental in developing policies that affect their lives in the grassroots. These people are the managers of the national resources at the local level and as such are an integral part of the life of a college student.  

Just like any citizen, every college student dreams to have a better America. College students dream of a country where education and healthcare will be affordable and accessible to every individual. Regardless of their backgrounds and different cultures, every student would wish to live in a new American that would be free of racism, police brutality, and oppression of the minorities. Living in a society where freedoms and rights of the citizenry are guaranteed compel some people to vote. Moreover, student voting would make them feel more included in the governance system of the country. 

By casting a vote, one would feel more included in the political activities of the country. Also, it gives the students an opportunity of having representation in governments that take care of their interests. After all, taxation is applied equally to all the citizens without the exception of those who did not vote. Referencing the words of James Otis, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” Therefore, the students should avoid apathy and get out and vote. The current governments are as a result of voter apathy that has occurred in the past, and the citizens have no choice but to live by the decisions they make.  

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Moreover, with the ever-increasing young population, the American college students have a higher probability of being jobless after their graduations. Therefore, the students have the opportunity of reversing the situation by electing people that would be instrumental in coming up with policies that would ensure that their needs are addressed. For instance, the U.S college students have very many and diverse talents that can be nurtured and a source of income not only for the students but also revenue for the country. Therefore, it would require the development of supporting infrastructure and structuring of policies that would enable such associated industries to thrive. Some of these industries include films and theater, the entertainment industry, and the sporting industry. For example, in films and theatre and the entertainment industry, effective development and implementation of policies will work to eliminate piracy by instituting strict copyright rules and that ensures that the sole copyright owners benefit from their pieces of art. It gives the student the reason to vote and elect representatives that would help to champion for such rights in the government.  

College students should participate in elections because the process provides a self-actualizing purpose which confirms the dignity and the worth of the students as American citizens. For instance, voting would help the students to reinforce their self-respect and esteem. By giving the students the opportunity to participate in national matters, the students would feel that they do belong in the political cycles and their opinions do matter too thus a sense of personal fulfillment which reinforces self-esteem.  Consequently, by voting the student would be able to strengthen the legitimacy of the country’s political system effectively ensuring proper democratic credentials for the elected leaders. The politics and the elections of the U.S bear great significance globally. Due to its supremacy, the decisions made by the American representatives have great importance in the World. Therefore, the student’s should vote to strengthen their country’s political legitimacy thus avoiding instances where some countries would start underestimating the influence of the U.S in the politics World. 

Finally, information is a powerful tool in this age. Most of the students are more informed, unlike in the previous generations who had limited information they could rely on as a consequence of making informed decisions. Due to innovation and the advancement in technology, the students have the ability of to access information and that allows them to engage in discussions on issues regarding politics and governance. Since information is power, the students become an integral part in the elections since most factions in the society would be looking for this group to make informed choices that would help to steer the national politics of the country forward.  Furthermore, this informed group could also help to emancipate community members that do not have access to this kind of information. The students could also form fundamental elements for championing for what is right in the society and that shapes the political landscape that helps the other citizens make wise and informed decisions. Therefore, by participating in the process, the students not only vote to determine the direction of the national politics, but also help other people to make informed decisions that would determine the welfare of the country. 

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Students should vote because such initiatives have immense significance for their welfare and the country. In any country, democracy provides a variety of privileges which include the freedom of expression and exercise their democratic right through voting. The electoral process is a very fundamental aspect in that it allows the citizens (Students) to make important decisions that would shape their future and that of the coming generations. Furthermore, the process allows the students to make the changes that they have desired to have by choosing leaders that would address and propagate their issues in government. Moreover, it is only on the ballot that the students can be able to keep the government in check thus promoting accountability on the part of the politicians. Additionally, voting enables students to have their say on important matters such as foreign and economic policy makings that directly affect their lives. For instance, the economic policies are determinants of the interest rates levied on the college fees and that impacts on the ability of most students to access educational services. Of great importance, voting for the student is a democratic right whose expression regards respect to the personalities that fought to ensure that the American citizens were granted such privileges. Therefore, being part of the process would promote a sense of identity and integrity. Above all, every citizen aspiring to live in a better America should vote to wipe out the corrupt regime that has over the years eroded the pride and respect of the American institutions. For every college student, voting during the electioneering period should become a priority.   

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  5. Niemi, Richard G., and Michael J. Hanmer. “Voter turnout among college students: New data and a rethinking of traditional theories.” Social Science Quarterly 91, no. 2 (2010): 301-323.
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