I’m sure you have encountered numerous people walking around campus with clipboards, a smile on their face and the question of, “are you registered to vote?” Yes, it can be annoying to be approached when you’re just trying to get to class on time for once, but what these people are doing is actually a good thing—and you should want to be a registered voter, even if it’s not for the state of Florida.
It seems like college students care a lot about politics and what happens in the elections, but it doesn’t seem like all that many are actually voting. According to NPR, millennials have the lowest voter turnout of any generation at only 46 percent. If we care so much about who’s elected, then why aren’t we voting?
Look, I understand. Going out to some random polling station nearby and waiting in a line to state your opinion can seem inconvenient and unnecessary. Maybe you think that your vote doesn’t matter anyway. I’m sure that those thoughts go through most college students’ heads; even I tend to feel the same way. But the truth is, if you want any sort of change or are looking forward to a specific politician winning the election, you have to vote. Taking an extra half hour out of your day to try to make a difference is not a waste of time.
The national elections aren’t the only important ones either. Your state and local elections can make all the difference in your hometown. After all, it’s probably a lot easier to spark change in a small town than in an entire country. If your opinions and ideas align with a certain politician, show it. If you just don’t like the politicians currently in charge of your city or state, vote for somebody else.
Your vote can evoke change, believe it or not. You don’t have to stand outside of city hall with a picket sign and a megaphone, but you also don’t have to be a part of the silent majority. Utilize your power to vote. And hey, if it doesn’t go your way, at least you can say you tried … and you can blame the negative effects on other people.