Voting is not enough

(MCT Campus)

Whether you like it or not we are all affected by politics. And since voting is the only way our voices can be heard, we must not only do our duty as citizens and vote but also become politically literate.

No matter your race, social status or wealth, one person will always equal one vote.

According to the Census Bureau report, the voter turnout rate among 18-to 24-year olds who registered to vote, fell to 41 percent in 2012 from 48.5 percent in 2008 and for adults 65 and older voter turnout rose to 71.9 percent in 2012 from 70.3 percent in 2008.

As young college students we should be alarmed by these statistics.

This recent study shows that people over the age of 65 are the ones determining our future.

They are the ones picking our representatives and sending them to Washington.

The same representatives that will vote on bills which will have an affect on our lives. By not voting, we let others vote for us.

Ultimately, the diverse beliefs of the electorate are not being equally represented in Congress.

Instead, politicians end up only caring and standing up for the issues of those who have elected them.

The consequences of not being politically active are apparent.

Just recently the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act and since then, five state elected leaders have tightened access to voting, making it harder for minorities to vote.

Voting gives us power. A very special power, because while our country’s wealthiest might be able to support a candidate’s campaign with millions of dollars, they cannot do the same with voting.

If you are one of the many people who do not vote and think one vote does not change the outcome of an election or affects society, think again.

According to the Social Progress Imperative (SPI), the United States came in 16th place on basic human needs, health wellness, and education. Countries like Canada and Sweden, who place in the top 10, not only outperform the United States but also have a higher voter turnout rate than the United States.

Social progressiveness goes hand in hand with how politically active a society is.

By voting we can change how our leaders perceive the young electorate as a group aware of every vote taken on a bill.

We are fortunate to live in a country where all citizens have the freedom to vote.

While voting strengthens and empowers a healthy democracy, it is not enough to show up to the voting booth. We should also be cautious with who we give our vote to.

Perhaps the easiest and most powerful way to become politically knowledgeable is by taking full advantage in what our generation is best at: using technology.

It is now easier than ever to keep up with the latest political news and get to know our representatives better. Political leaders such as Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Jerry Brown can be found in social media sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

As college students we are also given the opportunity to become politically literate by taking courses such as political science, economics, history and philosophy.

The next opportunity to make a difference with your vote is in the California primary primary election, June 3.

On the ballot Prop 41 would authorize the state to provide local governments, nonprofits and private businesses with financial assistance to aid low-income veterans and their families with affordable housing.

Prop 42 will require local government agencies, including cities, counties, and school districts, to comply with specific state laws providing public access to meetings of local government bodies and records of government officials.

Deadline to register for the California Primary is May 19.


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