With the upcoming election around the corner, many citizens are able to vote for the first time. Students are finding that it is their time to make their voices and opinions heard in the political world. Other students are choosing not to vote. One vote from them is one more vote for our future president.
According to civicyouth.org, which collects research and information on civic learning and engagement, “Voter turnout among young Americans is on the rise. Census data indicate that in the 2008 presidential election, turnout among 18- to 29- year-olds reached 51.1 percent, which was the third highest turnout rate…”
Some students choose to vote because they know it’s their right and they feel like they owe that to their country.
Danielle Presuto, a senior at Fairleigh Dickinson University, feels that it’s her right and duty as an American citizen to vote in the upcoming election.
“I choose to vote because not only is it my right, but men and woman are overseas fighting for my rights,” she said.
Hillary Brewer, another senior at FDU, feels the same way. “I choose to vote because my vote counts. It’s important to vote.”
But there are others who find themselves not wanting to vote or those who have not yet registered.
One senior at FDU has chosen not to register to vote. “It’s a free country and I can choose to vote and I can choose to not vote,” she said.
Feelings among young, first-time voters vary. Some see it as a civic duty and some view it as a right that they can abide by or choose not to abide by.
Civicyouth.org states that there is one big barrier that first-time voters are facing, and that is the registration process.
Most young people who are juggling their hectic schedules are finding it hard to find time to register to vote.
Mariah Pena, a senior at FDU, is a full- time student who is balancing family, friends, work and a sorority. She is not currently registered to vote, but would like to be so that she can eventually vote.
First-time voters like her can’t seem to find the time and some don’t know how to go about getting registered.
Then there are other students who just don’t know what they want. First-time voter Annie Sendrowitz, a junior at FDU, is eligible to vote, but has yet to register for the upcoming election. It’s something that she feels is a choice and something that she does not have to necessarily do.
Jennifer Curtin, a sophomore at FDU, is registered to vote, but doesn’t feel that it’s appropriate to vote, due to her lack of interest in politics. “I’m not going to vote, because I don’t pay enough attention to politics,” she said.
Civicyouth.org says it is important for both first-time and young voters to go out and vote: “Our findings suggest that these strategies do indeed encourage young Americans to vote, which is crucial in upholding the ideal of American democracy and nurturing civically engaged citizens.”
There are a lot of factors that influence the decision for first-time voters. Many young people find their lives to be overwhelming and, when it comes to politics, they just don’t seem to find the time or have an interest in the topic.
Some others believe that their vote makes an impact and want to exercise their rights.
The youth of America can only make an impact if they choose to do so.