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Your vote decides the future

RoundUp Editorial Staff

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Just 48 hours after Taylor Swift uploaded an Instagram post encouraging her fans to “educate [themselves] on the candidates running in [their] state and vote based on who most closely represents [their] values,” voter registration spiked by 169,000 people on Vote.org, the site she had endorsed.

This begs the question: in the age of social media and a growing partisanship among citizens, is celebrity endorsement what it takes to get young people to vote?

Unfortunately, it seems to be that way. While young people seem to be very opinionated politically, polls show that their strong beliefs aren’t making it to the voting booths. According to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, only 12.8 percent of the eligible 18-24 year-olds are active voters in Illinois.

This could be due to the fact that many young people are disillusioned into believing that their vote doesn’t count. This just isn’t true.

Every vote counts. However, demographics are very important in determining the platform of a running candidate. Civil rights issues, college costs, health care and other matters that directly affect and appeal to young voters are impacted by their voting participation.

Because there is such a low turnout right now, young citizens are not the top priority of candidates. Increasing voter turnout of young citizens will force political candidates to create a platform that appeals to them.

One way to increase youth political involvement is to have schools endorse this participation by giving volunteer credit for students who volunteer for political campaigns.

However, our school administration believes that volunteering for a political campaign is for personal enrichment, making volunteer credit obsolete.

This argument simply doesn’t make sense. The school credits hours for other avenues of personal enrichment, such as religious trips and hospital volunteering. Plus, this doesn’t negate the significance of whatever is being volunteered for. Youth involvement in politics is still important whether or not it is an enriching experience for everyone.

Giving volunteer credit to students who are involved politically would motivate more students to participate in politics, and potentially greatly increase turnout of the young voting population. The school should promote increasing young voter turnout by giving students volunteer credit for politically related volunteer opportunities, thus giving young voters a louder voice in politics.

However, if the school decides not to endorse political involvement by giving volunteer credit, it is essential that young people still volunteer and make it to the voting booths.

If there is a candidate who represents your values, go out and vote. It is your right and privilege to vote in this country, don’t take that for granted.

It is your right and privilege to vote in this country, don;t take that for granted. ”

The Student News Site of Barrington High School
Your vote decides the future