Our opinions matter, So why not register?

Leylah Qualo

Many young adults in America do not realize the importance of voting and just how much our votes impact our country. It’s more than picking a president, it’s about choosing someone to lead our country that represents your views and ideas. Voting is a selection method for a group in order to make a collective decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates, or election campaigns.
Although we are not required to vote, it is an important part of any democracy. Senior Jalen Lacaro agrees that voting makes a difference.
“Voting is important, because how else are we going to see change?” said Lacaro.
Most people know that once you are 18 years of age, you are eligible to vote. However, a handful bypass the significant opportunity.
According to TheBestColleges.org, “Young voters account for half of the voting population, making them a powerful force. Despite young adults making up such a large percentage of the voting population, citizens from ages 18-25 are more likely to not vote as of 2016.” Economics Literacy teacher David Kimmel believes that young people should take advantage of their power to vote.
“If you’re 18 you should not only vote in the presidential elections, but also for local representatives, your senators, your mayors. In the US, because we are in a representative democracy, the laws we have are written by people we vote for,” said Kimmel. “All of that decision making power derives from voting. If young people don’t vote, the people that make the laws won’t be concerned with representing young people.”
Luckily for us, it’s very easy to register, and the state of New Jersey is one of the 38 states that give residents the option to register online through the Official Site of the State of New Jersey. Another way would be to print out a blank National Mail Voter Registration Form and filling it out by hand, then sending it to the location set for your state.
“When you’re just turning 18, it’s important that you know where to go and what to do when it’s time for you to vote.”
Aside from these options, some popular locations voters choose to register at is their local DMV, Armed forces recruitment center, or state and county public assistance offices. Luckily, administration here at UACHS makes the effort to save young voters that trip. Every year, students or counselors go around senior classes offering registration forms to students 18 and up who choose to vote.
Eileen Cuellar, head of guidance, expresses the importance of high schools being involved in getting students to register to vote.
“It’s a part of our civic duty to make the option available to students. Usually the education systems are the ones that push for it, so if it’s not coming from schools, it’s harder for any adolescent to know where to go or how to start when it comes to voting, unless of course their parents help them.”
With the different ways to register, there are few excuses for the youth not to vote, as every vote affects the future of our country. In many countries, such as North Korea and Zimbabwe, citizens are not given the opportunity to vote, and in fact, their voice does not matter at all. If the opportunity for us to better our country is made available to us, why not take it? Are you registered to vote?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email