Another article about voting?!?! Yeah, come and stop us.
Staff Polling Place
When I was first reminded of my 26th amendment right to vote at the age of 18, I was sitting in a stuffy classroom, loosely grasping my pencil, and heard the monotonous voice of my teacher. As one of the youngest students in my AP U.S. Government class during my senior year of high school, I could not help but think that my birthday would be in October of my freshman year of college, seemingly a long time away. I did not see the hurry for all the scrambling of students to snatch the voter registration sheets when many of them also had time to spare just like me. It did not take me long, however, to realize that this perceived notion of time was ticking and that soon enough my vote would mean something of value.
As a U.S. citizen, it is possible and a seemingly necessary obligation, to cast your vote when you turn 18. This right stems from the 26th amendment to the constitution which grants this right to U.S. citizens. In previous years, the student vote was not as high and many unfortunately neglected to vote. This posed somewhat of an issue since older generations of voters seemed to be dominating the vote, representing ideals preferred by voters whose ideals can be seen as obsolete at times. In recent years, specifically as of 2018, however, the student vote has surged to a higher number. I guess people were really listening to my teacher that day when he told us, “Get out and vote! Let your voice be heard and don’t let the old people decide your future for you!” Essentially, more and more students are seeing the benefits of voting and are seizing the opportunity to cast their input as a vote.
The only issue is that as the student votes are rising, there also seems to be a high number of politicians trying to curb this. It has been noted that several Republicans are enacting more roadblocks to voting for college students. This is most likely due to the fact that a growing population of college educated students are liberals, and would most likely vote out Republican incumbents, thus posing a threat to conservative politicians. The extra restrictions that the Republicans are posing to the students include additional hindrances such as the need for a valid student ID card specifically for voting, as instituted by some North Carolina Republicans. Similarly, Wisconsin Republicans are requiring poll workers to check for signatures on the ID cards, many of which are not there due to debit cards and dorm keys not being issued with signatures. It seems that these additional “precautions” are actually a way to diminish student efforts to cast their vote, which would potentially alter the positions of people running. It is clear that the student vote is seemingly pressurizing Republicans and they feel this as a threat which is pushing them to try and minimize the student vote overall.
Despite the efforts of these politicians, it is nevertheless extremely important for students to go out and vote, and make sure their voice is heard. This is even more important in times such as now with impeachment lurking above the horizon and the 2020 election coming up, an election which will be the first major vote for many 18 year olds. So yes, maybe you have an exam the day of your primary, or a huge sweet 16 party to go to, but remember that elections are for you and who you want to represent your values – so you should go out and vote.
Image Source: LAVote.net.