Column by Alana Sundermann
In the United States the legal age to vote is set at 18. According to the United States Census Bureau, in the 2016 election 46.1% of 18-29-year-olds exercised their right to vote. While this was still higher than the turnout in the 2012 Election, it is still a statistically low turnout.
As Americans, it is important that we continue to use our voice and exercise the rights that we have been given as citizens in this country. Democracy only works if the people use their voice and demand changes they wish to see in the government.
Speaking from experience, I never really thought that my voice was valuable. I didn’t think my one vote would make a difference. I was so caught up in my own life that I did not recognize what was going on in the world around me. However, as I have gotten older, I have realized the importance of knowing what decisions are being made in the local and national government(s) I have come to learn that local government decisions affect me and my daily life, and the decisions in the national government will affect my views and morals on humanity and society.
Once I realized that these decisions were important to me, I had to educate myself about specific candidates locally and nationally. I had to study their policies and their plans of action if elected. Of course, this took time, and I am still learning and educating myself as much as I can, so I have come to believe that my voice does matter, what I believe matters, and I have the right to express those beliefs.
Voting is just one of the many ways to use our voice and express our beliefs’. And if you find yourself saying politics are overrated, why should I care? Look internally at the things you believe and the decisions you make in your life because the people in charge may have an effect on you and your life.
The Rock the Mock event is an opportunity for young voters and students at the University to practice exercising their right to vote and learn more about the election and the candidates. Always use your voice, be loud, educate yourself and go VOTE!