THE SANTA CLARA
October 30, 2014
Six years ago, the Kenyan presidential elections saw machete-wielding mobs brutally slaughter over 1,300 members of rival tribes seeking an election free of the rigged voting that had plagued their political system for years.
Last January, violence during the national elections in Bangladesh left hundreds of hopeful voters dead or injured.
Around the world, people risk their lives in an attempt to have a voice in the political process.
Voting is arguably the single most pivotal civic duty of individuals fortunate enough to be born in a society whose members need not worry about being executed on their way to an election. It gives citizens a voice, keeps political leaders and systems in check and is the main driver in changing the sociopolitical landscape of a nation.
Few things are more refreshing than seeing a problem and doing something about it. Voting gives us that opportunity.
According to the most recent census, 38 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 in the United States voted during the 2012 presidential election.
Given that voter turnout sees a significant drop during years without a presidential election, next week’s polls will surely see an even smaller percentage of youth voters.
Almost two-thirds of people our age will not vote next Tuesday.
They will not stand up on for issues regarding education, the economy, immigration reform, marijuana legalization, water usage and police brutality. They will do nothing about the fact that congressional approval rating has fallen below 15 percent, yet again.
If they won’t be counted, why should politicians care about their beliefs?
Of all the voters in the United States, elections affect young people the most. We have to live the longest under the politics of our time. Many of our opinions are drastically different from those of elderly citizens. Yet, we are letting them make decisions for us.
Frankly, I am not too keen on living in a nation where people who went to college 60 years ago are allowed to decide who sets the interest rates I will have to pay on my student loans.
I am not thrilled about the idea of our political system being run by people with backwards views on everything save how frequent a social security check should come in the mail.
If you aren’t overly enthusiastic about your privacy rights being decided by people who don’t know how to turn on a DVD player or environmental issues being ignored by voters who won’t be around to see the results of global warming, your chance to do something about it is next Tuesday.
Thomas Curran-Levett is a junior political science major and the editor of the Opinion section.