To vote or not to vote?


The typical college student has a long “to do” list, but “vote in midterm election” rarely makes the top 10. Despite that, we want to urge every Amarillo College student to take the time to vote.The most important item in this next election revolves around the new multi-purpose event venue that apparently is coming to downtown Amarillo. The debate is whether the city should build a baseball park as part of the venue. The issue has motivated some college and high school age residents to become more engaged in city politics. It even has sparked a new group called the Amarillo Millennial Movement where young people have banded together in hopes of winning the vote to build the highly debated ballpark. The vote for the ballpark is a nonbinding referendum, meaning the city of Amarillo will decide whether to build the ballpark regardless of your vote. This vote is essentially a survey to gauge the opinions of the people. You may argue, if it’s just a survey, why should I vote? And you may find yourself wondering, what else is on the ballot, you know, besides the ballpark? Well … a number of propositions regarding things you probably don’t care about. We understand your lack of interest, but we still urge you to vote. College students who don’t vote have become a statistic. According to The Economist, in 2010 only 24 percent of millennials (18-29 year-olds) voted, compared to 51 percent of Americans age 30 or over. Why don’t young people vote? It has been reported that 12 percent said they don’t know enough about the candidates, 11 percent said they weren’t interested, 8 percent said they weren’t registered, 7 percent said they don’t trust or like the candidates or politicians in general and another 7 percent said their vote doesn’t make a difference.

Generally, college students don’t put much faith in politics and politicians. “Young people have believed that politics doesn’t have the tangible results that they wish that it did. So therefore they are less likely to be participating,” John Della Volpe, polling director at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, told USA Today. Do you really want to be part of this group of apathetic slackers? If young people are unhappy about politics, they should vote. While it is too late to register to vote for this November’s election, you can register now for the next one. Politicians are accountable to the people who vote. If you don’t vote, you have no voice, and ultimately that is your loss. Even if you find yourself still thinking, “Yeah, but I still don’t care,” consider this: One person’s vote can make a difference. Past elections have shown that the outcome of an election often is decided by just a handful of voters. Even if the various topics and propositions still do not matter to you, the act of voting sends a message. It at least will get all the older people to stop complaining that the younger generations are too self-absorbed and need to involve themselves in society. Ultimately, outcomes of elections will have an impact on your future. If you don’t vote, you really can’t complain about not liking a candidate or a particular propositions’ outcome. In some countries, people are dying for the right to cast a ballot — but in America, young people can’t be bothered. That’s really sad. As college students, we are the educated people, so we have the responsibility to vote We drive on the roads. We pay the taxes. We have (or someday may have) children who attend public schools. We might as well have a say, because the results will affect us regardless. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so make your voice heard. It counts for something whether you really care or not … and maybe those old people will get off your back, too.

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