Exercise your right to vote

Brannagan Mukaisu, reporter

Over the years, you may have seen bumper stickers that say “No Vote, No Grumble.” This is very true. Every young American adult (18-29 years) has the right to vote but sadly, they choose not to. Young American adult voters should exercise their right to vote because the government policies affect them too. This select group of voters should become more actively involved in voting because their opinions need to be heard. Voting is a privilege here in America, and if you are eligible to vote you should utilize this opportunity because no other country gives us this much freedom. The idea of getting the younger generation to actually vote begins with high school students. This year, McKinley High School’s junior and senior students have been registering to vote in their History classes.

Lina Hang (12) said, “(registering to vote) was pretty easy.”€

During the 2008 Presidential Election only 58.5% young American adult voters from 18 to 24 years old took initiative and decided to register. The percentage of this age group registered to vote in 2008 was low compared to the 25 years and older voting group, which their percentage ranged from 65.7% up to 78.9%. Some say young American adults should not vote because they do not know much about what is happening in the political society. For this reason, students who are near the age to vote and young eligible voters should start to get informed on current political events to help them make a wise choice when they vote.

David Blanchard, a Social Studies teacher here at McKinley said, “They should be educated when they vote.”€

He explained that with all of the new technologies we are able to become more aware of the political situation from the social media through the Internet. Registering to vote is simply not enough. Young American adults should go and vote at the polls on voting day. In the 2008 Presidential Elections, only 48.5% percent of the age group 18-24 years old who registered had actually voted, according to the US Census.

“In the 2010 election, voter turnout for people over the age of 65 increased 16 percent. In contrast, voter turnout for youth decreased 55%,” according to Project Vote’s website.

This is the most important step in the voting process.

Blanchard said, “more (young American adults) should vote. I’€™ve voted ever since I was able to.”€

On the other hand there are students who want to vote but are not of age yet.

Meriam Salameh (11) is currently 17 years old and says she plans to vote when she turns 18.

Salameh said, “€œI feel that (voting) is a great opportunity. I think it’€™s great that the young American adults get to vote, its not always the (older) adult’s perspective of who should be ruling or running. In general, I think young American adults should have a say in who is in charge of our future.”€

Hang said, “I am very excited to get the chance to vote.”€

Young American adults should take the lead and get involved. Allow your opinion and young voice to be heard. Go and Register. Go and Vote. Now you can grumble.