Right to vote comes with an obligation


Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

With the Associated Students’ election coming up, it’s important to understand the complexity and necessity of voting, whether it be in a Chico State election or national election.

As young adults, students and millennials, it might not be our first priority to vote, especially in A.S. elections that don’t seem as important as going to class. Even though our vote may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, a lack of voter turnout in young adults shows just how large our voice is if we band together to make a change.

According to Civic Youth, 24 million young people (under 30) voted in the 2016 elections. However, when looking at the entire range of eligible voters under 30, less than half participated in the 2016 election, according to NPR.

For many elections in the past, young adults are large in numbers but continue to come in last with voter turnout. Ultimately, this has swayed election results before. Especially in the race against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, where young people overwhelmingly supported Clinton and other candidates like Bernie Sanders but failed to show that support in the voting booths.

In A.S. elections anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 students participate, representing the 17,000 enrolled students. Even though the university emails everyone a link to vote, leaves it open for 24 hours and creates a simple and quick layout, the voting turnout mimics the same young adult trend in voting.

Whether it be in school elections or presidential elections it’s clear that young people don’t care about voting. Yet, they still seem to complain year after year about the changes that are “out of their control,” but the lack of representation in the polls shows that we don’t have the right to complain.

Voting is an obligation. If you’re not going to do it, you’re not allowed to complain about the changes that will be made or the people who will be making them next semester.

If you don’t vote, you are continuing to validate the stereotype of our generation, leading the rest of the world to believe that we are unaware, disinterested and lacking the basic motivation to participate in the countries democracy. Start by representing the student body at Chico State. It takes two minutes to vote in the A.S. elections.

Kendall George can be reached at [email protected] or @kendallmgeorge on Twitter.