Freshman Findings: Value of votes by students

headshot2_WEBYou may think to yourself, “Why should I even vote? My opinion doesn’t even matter or count.” The truth is, every single vote counts on Election Day. Every voice and opinion matters and can make all the difference in determining our country’s future.
Ever since we were in elementary school, our teachers have always taught us that voting is our right as an individual in the United States. We are very privileged to have the opportunity to elect government officials. Citizens of other countries are not so lucky. A change in the result of the election can occur with just a handful of votes. Further, the strength of our democracy depends on our votes.
It is also important to stay current on what politicians in the running are supporting. If you are passionate on a certain movement or policy such as gay marriage, the environment or capital punishment, it is essential to support what you believe in.
“Well over a quarter of college students reported in 2010 that they did not register to vote because they did not know where or how to register, or they missed the deadline,” according to The Campus Vote Project.
College students argue that they do not have access to anywhere to vote or register for Election Day. Having a center specifically for college students in the Lawrenceville area to vote and register would be beneficial not only to the students but the voting’s outcome as well. With colleges such as Rider, Rutgers, TCNJ and Princeton in the area, a center for voting would be very beneficial.
Think about it. We are the voice of the future. Few voters are focused on the needs and wants of college students. With current issues such as college loans, admission policies and tuition increases, college students should focus now more than ever on these issues and how to enact change.
The policies that we have the chance to vote for now will affect our future. If we do not take advantage of voting at this age, the way things will be in the future will be in the hands of others without our input.
Fortunately, there are several different ways to vote on election days in the future. There is the traditional way to vote by going to your local polling station in person. Absentee ballots are another option. You can have your ballot paper delivered to your registered address and simply cast your vote and mail the ballot back. There are also stations where people with disabilities or impaired vision can go to vote.
Being young voters, we bring a lot of diversity and fresh insight to the table. As college students, we are here in order to expand our minds and to do things that we may have not even considered doing before. Voting is one of the steps we can take to empower the student body and the future of the country as a whole, and I hope next year, more college students will utilize their right to vote.

–Hayley Fahey
Freshman journalism major
Printed in the 11/12/14 issue.

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