EDITORIAL | Young voters take note: The journey does not end here

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This past week, Americans both young and old set out from their homes, schools, or jobs to vote in the midterm elections. Or, they decided not to vote. While it is their right as Americans to choose freely between voting or not voting, we cannot stress enough the importance of our vote in this country.

Two weeks ago, a representative from NextGen America spoke to students here at the College about what is at stake for the 2018 midterm elections.

This representative, Lexi McMenamin, showed a graph that stated the voter turnout, by age, in the most recent midterm elections. As of the last midterms, only 23% of voters were between the ages of 18 and 34.

A mere 23% is not ideal for the voters of our generation.

Regardless of who you are voting for, whether it be Republican or Democrat or any other party represented in our country, your vote counts. It is as simple as that. Your vote does make a difference in the world, especially one that can and will directly affect others such as yourself.

According to the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., “young voters account for half of the voting population.” One can only imagine the power that young voters, ones such as Saint Anselm College students, can have if they exercise it in the form of voting.

We as a generation have the numbers and the intelligence to push this country forward in the right direction. As we reach the age where voting is finally an option for us, it should be of greatest importance to us that we make the conscious decision to better this country through the act of voting for policies that will change what must be changed.

Despite the fact that the midterms have already passed, it is still worth mentioning the importance of voting, as it will always be a crucial part of our lives as citizens of the United States.

NextGen America concluded that before the midterm elections this year, “37% of adults aged 18-35 state[d] they [were]“definitely voting” or [had]already voted – compared to just 26% of young Americans who said they would “definitely vote” in 2014 and 23% of Americans 18-34 who actually did vote in 2014.”

That 37% is an incredible difference from the 23% that was reported just four years ago. Clearly awareness has grown over the years and, considering our current political climate, will continue to grow and grow and grow until nearly everyone takes it as their responsibility to take part in the dealings of this country.

Nearly everyone will agree that every vote counts. Although that may not seem so to some, it is true.

There have been times where an election comes down to just a few votes, whether that be for the popular or the electoral vote. This proves the case that you should not feel assuaged from voting because you feel as if your vote does not matter.

Our vote, as Millenials, has the power to sway the election in a way that will bring change to the forefront of our government. If anything, that should be the goal in our vote. Whatever change it is that you seek, you alone can take that first step in making that change a reality for the generations to come.

As we move past the midterms and onto the next election, which seems to be coming up much faster than was anticipated, whatever the outcome, remember to take action. Voting is a way through which you can participate in our national community.

What better way to be an American citizen than to vote for the voice who will lead all citizens towards a greater future.

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