By Molly Monson
I voted for the first time on my eighteenth birthday in the November 2018 elections. It was a non-presidential election year without any major topics on the ballot, and my parents had dragged me out of bed to hit polls at 6:30am to witness my first legal-adult-action before they headed to work. The buildup to the moment of exercising my precious, American, democratic rights came to an underwhelming but still important end as I proudly selected my choice candidates on the polling machine at dawn.
Not every eighteen, nineteen, twenty, or even forty-seven year old cares about voting. In fact, it's estimated that only 53% of the voting age population partakes in the voting process (census.gov). The mindset that one vote doesn't count spans across many generations. Think about the difference that all those so-called irrelevant votes could make-- they add up to millions of votes, certainly enough to sway an election one way or another in a major way.
Young voters account for half of the voting population, making their voices all the more powerful than boomers and gen X voters. The younger generations are a more diverse set of voters and have the power to make a difference in the advance of minority and progressive issues (thebescolleges.org). And if you think you don't care much now, you most definitely will in four or less years when you're on your own as an adult and off of your parents dollar.
In the words of political philosopher John Locke, "people are free by nature, and voting is a natural right of the self governed." Put in a little research into the topics (big or small), get yourself to the polls, fill out your absentee ballot, make your voice heard on November 5th.