Younger voters should exercise their right

Voting should be done to allow for a truly democratic process


Graphic Angelina Oliveira

Staff Writer Shakila Sivarajan writes that 18-24 year olds should vote in the primaries because they have learned so much about politics in school.

Shakila Sivarajan, Staff Writer

As the year 2020 begins, we look forward to new joys and worries alike, such as finals, tryouts for spring sports and school dances. And now, this year, some high schoolers can take part in a special nationwide process: the presidential election!

Voting is an integral part of our democracy and it is important that no vote should be taken for granted. Since I travel a lot with my family and see how people in other countries live, especially in developing countries, with fewer rights and laws to protect its citizens, I feel that voting is truly both our right and privilege. In each election, young people are criticized for not turning out to vote. According to a January 2014 report from the California Civic Engagement Project at UC Davis, only 8.2 percent of eligible 18 to 24 year olds voted statewide in California. Some say that young adults have already so much on their plate and to have another thing added that is so important might be too much. Others say that they are just disinterested. I also see some young people, when they are asked by news reporters, saying that they are fed up with politicians and no candidate is worth a vote. But I believe that American politics has heated up so much that many people are frustrated and lose interest altogether. However, even if we aren’t passionate about politics or the issues, we have to use our education and technology to make an effort to exercise our right. It should be our responsibility.  

Everywhere these days, we hear the politics blaring, with nothing decent or just about it. The politics in America has gotten so nasty to the point of name calling and characterizing other candidates based on looks with basically nothing about policies. It is easy to get caught up with it, but then all of what we studied in school and what the creators of our nation went through to make our democratic system will go in vain. 

It’s in our hands now as not children, but adults. We have to analyze and research all the candidates’ policies and what they stand for and make the best choice without being influenced by the way candidates are portrayed by their opponents. Some of us may already be at the voting age, but even those students who are not yet are nearing it. We may even influence our parents to vote for the best candidate. The voice of the young is surging with all kinds of movements taken over by us like the climate movement. Now, as we get more opinionated, we should use these strong opinions to take part in our democratic process this year. This should not be viewed as one more chore but instead be looked at as a privilege and responsibility to be taking part in America’s great democracy.