By: Katie Knudtson
I don’t have the time. I don’t know anything about politics or the candidates. My vote doesn’t really matter. I’m registered in a different state.
These are the excuses we tell ourselves come election time. But that’s all they are: excuses.
Being a Benedictine student, we take courses that try to get us to think for ourselves, to search out answers, and to make a difference in our world. That includes voting. The ability to vote is the ability to make decisions. Sometimes we get angry that people take our choices away from us; that they still treat us like children when in the eyes of the law we are legally adults. When we vote, we get a say in how we want our lives to be.
We’re told to prepare for our future (that’s why we’re in college). Right now most of us don’t have to worry about houses/apartments, businesses, getting married, or certain taxes but soon we will. The policies that affect those aspects of our future can be decided today. Why not prepare for them?
If we can find the time to watch hours of Netflix or rifle through thousands of funny pictures on the internet, why can’t we find the time to go out and vote? Why can’t we type in “election candidates” instead of, “funny cat videos” and read even just a little bit about who might be running our country?
A lot of people believe that their vote doesn’t matter but America was literally created in the spirit of representation; of being able to vote on matters that affect us. Most people who vote are older generations who are more concerned about health insurance and policies on the elderly. College tuition, loans, and policies aren’t exactly on their list of priorities. That’s why it’s important for college students to take an interest in politics. We’re one of the groups least represented in policy change. If we’re unhappy with what the current policies are why not try to change them?
For those students who live in different states and can’t get back home in time to vote there is a solution. It’s called absentee voting. It’s a way to vote without physically attending the polling station. For more information on how to request an absentee ballot visit the Brennan Center at http://www.brennancenter.org/student-voting.
Our vote does matter and we need to be a part of it. If we’re the ones who have to live with the effects why not be the ones to cause them. Who better to vote for favorable policies for college students than us? If we want to see something happen we have to take the necessary steps to make it happen.
The Illinois Primary Election is March 15th. The Presidential Election is November 8th.
It’s our vote. It’s our say. It’s our world.