Opinion: The Importance of Voting
Voting is one of our most important civic duties and you should be getting involved.
Gen Z (that’s us!) and other younger generations have tended to have a low voter turnout versus older generations. We are part of a generation that has constantly called for change from both sides of the aisle. The most controversial topics of our time are now gun control and abortion rights and if you have opinions on it, you should be reflecting that. Voting is one of our most important ways in which we can impact our country’s decisions. Wherever you stand in the political spectrum, it does not matter as long as you are an informed voter and trying to help your fellow Americans.
How can I take action?
Well, dear reader, here are some of the best ways to get involved:
- Pre Register to Vote
In the state of California, you are allowed to pre register at 16 or 17 years old, if by the next election, you will be 18 or older. When you go to get your ID or driver’s license, you can also pre register, which is made easier using one of the kiosks. If you already have your ID or driver’s license, then you can pre register online at registertovote.ca.gov
- Read up on the candidates
When you are able to vote, you should research your state’s candidates. We have midterm elections and presidential elections that greatly impact the trajectory of our country. Our representatives voted in during the midterm elections should represent what we want because they initiate the process of signing a bill into law and creating policies, which, in turn, affect us. If the people who win the elections aren’t representing your values or what you would like to see in our country, then you have the chance to change something! Every single vote matters and your lack of participation creates an impact as well.
- Stay up to date with proposed props/bills
It is mostly bills and propositions that affect our day-to-day life. Bills eventually get passed into law and they can affect our learning, economy, and environment, like in the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill and the Inflation Reduction Act. If your representative proposes a bill that doesn’t reflect the needs of your state or can have harmful ramifications, then maybe it’s time to vote them out. Propositions are a way for citizens to directly change laws to help those around you. Knowing the long-term influence of the props you are voting in favor or against will help you make your decisions.
If you believe that the elections don’t concern you, you are dead wrong. It’s your indifference that could severely hurt people if the wrong people are in power. We are part of the process that prevents power from being placed into the wrong hands. You can’t complain about the issues our country faces when you’re not voting because you become part of the problem. We need to be educated on these topics because at the end of the day, they affect us.