Why Vote?

Why Vote?

Lacey Jones

Are you voting this year? As many of you may know, 2020 marks another presidential election. This year has been filled with unrest and uncertainty, from issues varying from the coronavirus to police brutality to climate change. With such turbulence comes an immense amount of pressure on the masses to vote. This includes the 18-year-old students here at Lakota West. Unfortunately, young voters have historically stayed at home on election day. But if you are an 18-year-old Lakota West student, you need to get out and vote. 


Voting is one of the pillars of a democratic government, being a right protected by the Constitution and federal voting rights laws in the United States. Voting allows the public to voice their opinion over what the government needs to do to best serve communities. When citizens don’t vote, democracy is hindered and creates an inaccurate representation of what Americans want in the government. Voting provides an opportunity to voice your opinion and views so that your representatives are carrying out issues that you value. with such close elections results in recent years, it is clear that, in the end, every vote counts. 


Historically, young people have low participation at the polls. Low numbers are partially due to the lack of information on the nature of voting. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, “seemingly disinterested candidates and campaigns, hard-to-find information, or civically disengaged parents” also play a part in why young people don’t vote. Typically, this leads “to significant variations in voting rates by race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and other socioeconomic and demographic factors.”  In other words, most elected representatives are given their important positions by older white individuals.  In the upcoming presidential election this November, about 23 million young people are eligible to vote. Though it may feel that voting is not crucial to a young person’s existence, young voters do make an impact on the election. 

By not exercising your right to vote as a young person, you are wholeheartedly giving older generations power over you and the issues you’re concerned about. You are allowing more politically active citizens to control the outcome of such elections, this mainly including white, older demographics of people. By increasing the voter turnout and activeness in elections, it lessens the gap between different demographic groups. This creates a more accurate representation of the American people. In recent years, though, the numbers of young people voting have been increasing, so it is crucial to keep the momentum going.