The Paw Print

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Young voters should become more educated

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Normal West offers soon-to-be 18-year-olds the opportunity to register to vote beginning this fall. A key issue that presents itself with young voters is voting registration. Many young voters do not vote because they do not know how or where to register for voting. Normal West students are always eligible to register for voting throughout the year. Assistance from Social Studies teacher Mr. Berardi is available to anyone interested. Despite the resources available, it is inevitable that few students will take advantage of this opportunity. It was reported by Census.gov that only 38% of young adults aged 18-24 voted in the presidential election.

Unfortunately, this trend appears to be an accurate representation of how many West students are planning to register and later vote versus the students who are not. Many West students who will soon be or are already eligible to vote have not bothered to take advantage of the opportunity to register for voting that is offered at the school, which will then leave them unable to vote when an election rolls around. The general consensus among West students is clear: on average, students are often either too disinterested in politics to vote or feel uneducated about politics which leads them to dismiss the voting polls.

The failure to register for voting not only hurts our communities, and our country as a whole, but also essentially causes unnecessary conflict among its citizens. Too many people complain that they “didn’t get to vote” or “don’t know enough” to vote; but in reality, this problem can be solved. Voting allows people to have a voice in how they want their communities to be led and run, thus affecting all individuals on either a small or large scale. Maintaining a sense of apathy towards politics is a major issue that is especially prevalent in the youth. Since young voters are often less affected by political choices, they feel less obligated to participate in making decisions to affect their communities or the leadership of their communities. What many voters don’t often realize or neglect to consider is that the decisions made now will give way to the outcome of their futures, and it is absolutely crucial to instill this belief in the younger generations.

Many students may not be apathetic to politics so much as unknowledgeable. A major complaint with the youth is that they often “don’t know enough to vote” and they don’t want to play a role in “picking the wrong person”. In this day and age, it has become increasingly easier to be informed. A simple Google search can lead a person to several thousand pages of easy-to-digest information. Being uninformed is no longer a good enough excuse for students to not play a role. Social media and networking has progressively been playing larger roles in affecting our lives. Politics is not exempt from this occurrence.

Now more than ever, young people have the opportunity to affect their communities and their countries in a positive manner. The youth want a voice, and voting is a way to grant them that voice. It is no longer acceptable for young people to complain about the way their world runs, not when their ability to take a part in the change is so easily accessible. As students here at West with many resources available, become educated and vote!

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Young voters should become more educated