Despite low turnout, student votes are critical

Fernanda Molina, Editor-in-Chief

McGill students film their vote mob video for the 2011 federal election on campus. Apr 14 2011
McGill students film their vote mob video for the 2011 federal election on campus. (Photo courtesy of Flickr)

With the general election only days away, high school students across the country are preparing to exercise their right to vote. These students will be making a decision to vote between the five presidential candidates on November 8, 2016.

Even though voting has great importance, many students who are eligible to vote don’t take the opportunity to do so. In fact, about 55% of students ages 18-24 do not vote. Along with the ones who do vote, many are not knowledgeable about candidates and the issues they represent.

Click here to vote in the Lasso Mock Election 2016.

For some, voting is the most powerful and efficient way to have your voice in the government. In addition, it is considered a fundamental right and responsibility of U.S. citizens. A single vote can affect the future in a plethora of ways, and has the power to change people’s rights and the social and economic conditions of our country. There are various pressing issues such as health care, college tuition, and equal pay that deserve attention. Not to mention the many violent national and international events in the year 2016.

Despite all of these issues, many high school students dismiss this responsibility because they do not feel personally harmed by the possibilities the ballot represents or they are unfamiliar with the candidates running. On average, only 45% of students of ages 18 to 24 vote in the elections; that is 4 out of every 10 students. By not utilizing this privilege to vote, they are allowing other voters to make the decision for them.

It is understandable that high school students have a hard time knowing who to cast their vote for, but there are plenty of tools that can be used to learn about what is going on and what issue each candidate cares most about. Some of these tools include reading newspapers, watching the news, and doing some Internet surfing. It is important that high school students who can legally vote begin to take it seriously and understand that this one simple decision can make a lasting change.  

Don’t forget to vote in The Lasso mock election and check out the article about the 2016 Falls Church ballot explained.