Get out and vote

Get out and vote

People have a lot of things to say about millennials. We’re addicted to our phones, we’re entitled and we want trophies just for showing up. While a lot of these stereotypes are not exactly accurate, there is one that is: we don’t vote.

In the 2012 presidential election, only 41.2 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 24 voted for a presidential candidate. What does this mean on Grand Valley State University’s campus?. We have an undergraduate population of around 25,000 students, most of which are between the ages of 18 to 24. If only 41.2 percent of the undergraduate population at GVSU voted in the upcoming election, that would mean only 10,250 students would have taken the time to vote for their preferred candidate.

Not only is this a waste of an opportunity that many people don’t have, but not voting also could result in a presidential candidate that is not a true reflection of the entire population. Not voting in elections (whether it is local or nationwide) is disrespectful to those who worked so hard to get the opportunity to vote, as well as a metaphoric vote of ignorance.

Additionally, by not voting, you are shorting yourself of getting a presidential candidate who has morals and values that you agree with. As a college student, your voice is now one of the strongest in the nation. The things we vote on today will determine how we start our lives in the next few years. Voting ensures that our voices, our opinions, our thoughts about the country we live in will be heard. That is important.

According to research by the Pew Research Center, as of this April, 69.2 million Millennials were eligible to vote, compared to the 69.7 million Baby Boomers. We can’t blame the issues we have with politics on a lack of population and representation anymore, we need to get out and act. If your grandparents can take the time to get out and vote, so can you.

Look, we know the choices at the top of the ticket may not be the most appealing this year, and that’s understandable. But what’s not understandable is using that as an excuse to stay away from the voting booths come November. While you might not be a part of the #I’mwithHer or #MakeAmericaGreatAgain camps, there are more than enough local and statewide contests to make exercising your right to vote matter.

The first step of this process is to register to vote. Several times throughout the year, GVSU’s student senate brings around a mobile Secretary of State for students to register to vote and file for absentee ballots. There’s no excuse to not register and vote in this election, especially when so many resources are being provided to students.

This presidential election is one of the most important elections we will vote in. This next president will be in office as we enter the job force, buy houses and make other important decisions at the start of our adult lives. Lakers, it’s time to show up at the polls, and that effort starts with you.