Get out the polls and make a voting change


Abigail Barrett, Editor-in-Chief

Imagine being given an ice cream cone. Choose your flavor: strawberry, chocolate or booger flavored, or someone else decides which flavor you get, and you run the risk of getting the booger ice cream. I’m willing to bet that 100 percent of you would elect to choose. If it’s so easy to vote on your ice cream flavor, then why can’t you vote for a presidential candidate?

A measly 15.4 percent of all voters in the U.S. in 2012 were between the ages of 18 and 29, while just over 21 percent of the eligible voting population was between these ages, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The biggest chunk of voters are those aged 45 to 64 who made up nearly 40 percent of all votes cast in the previous presidential election in 2012.

Every citizen of the U.S., once they turn 18, is given a chance to aid in determining the fate of the nation. It’s a right that people died to have 200 years ago and that people today tend to ignore.

Not only this, but many of the issues the candidates are addressing directly affect us 17 or 18-year-olds just about to enter the real world. Bernie Sanders for one is on the track to help reduce the cost of college and he even hopes to provide free community and state college to all citizens of the U.S. Other topics on the table include immigration (Trump wishes to make it harder for immigrants to enter the country), the environment (is global warming real? Most Republican candidates say no) and a nationwide health program (Republicans don’t agree with having one, Democrats do).

79 percent of the people who are going to be affected by the decisions of our leader the longest don’t even care enough to have their voice in the mix. According to millennials often blame their lack of participation on not knowing enough about politics, not particularly caring and/or not having the time. And to each of those excuses I have a solution.

To those who don’t know enough about politics, it’s not hard to learn. At 18 or older, these people should at least know what they agree and disagree with in the sense of taxes, women’s rights, civil rights, gun laws, etc. From there it takes but seconds to do a Google search of the candidates and then ten minutes max to read a synopsis of their views. Or, you could even read the story on the front page of this paper.

To those who claim they don’t care about politics, they should. Politics determine every aspect of our lives. They determine when and for how long we’re required to go to school to the amount of money we get paid to the things we can do, read or watch in our spare time. If you claim you don’t care about politics, then how can you have an opinion on anything?

Finally, to those who gripe that they just don’t have time to vote, fill out your registration online and stop by your voting location during lunch, after school, before school while you’re taking your dog on a walk, whenever. Claiming to not have time for it is just a poor excuse for not putting to use a system that was fought so extensively for.

And to make everyone’s lives better, I’ll give you the website to register to vote and save you all the hassle of typing and searching through Google. Just go to and select to fill out an online application. According to, the website will also tell you your poll location, determine “Who’s On My Ballot?” and a myriad of other technical things to help you in your venture.

I find it very funny that the people who these decisions are going to affect the most aren’t willing to pay any attention to it. But get this, once something “scandalous” happens in politics that everyone is talking about, the majority of non-voters decide that it’s in their right to complain and whine, and this drives me crazy.

If you’re not doing anything to make a difference, you don’t have the right to complain. So, if you’re given a chance to make a difference, even in the smallest way, take it. Choose whichever ice cream flavor you like, and hope for the best.