Take the time, cast that ballot

Sonia Groff

It is obvious that the clearest way to communicate and advertise a product to students is through the media. However, when it comes to seemingly more important issues, such as voting, college students don’t appear to take notice.
Presidential candidates and their campaigns generally promote themselves more and more towards young people. For example, the 2008 potential candidates went on MTV to speak about their platforms. However, it is not only the job of the media and Presidential candidates to market to young people; it is the young citizen’s duty to his or her country to become educated about politics and, most importantly, the presidential candidates. Although the age group of 18-24 years isn’t the largest percentage of the voting pool, the numbers of citizens in this segment is increasing. Current college students will become the businessmen, doctors, lawyers and teachers of the future. These are key people to market to during the election season because they will soon be the ones in power.
With the upcoming election in progress, college students need to accomplish three important goals in order to pave the way for their future:
1) Find out about the 2008 elections by reading the newspaper daily, researching a candidate and talking to teachers, parents and friends about the election.
2) Talk to friends and get other young people interested in the political process
3) Register and vote
Voting is the most crucial task every young person needs to accomplish because it directly affects the future of the country. So, vote for a candidate who stands for the same beliefs that you support; do not simply vote for the only candidate you hear about on the news. Educate yourself on candidates and do not let others impose their political beliefs on you. Voting is important because if you do not take part in the process, you cannot complain about the circumstances of society.
During the 2004 election, the US Census Bureau reported alarming statistics for reasons why some citizens did not vote: 20% reported that they were too busy or had conflicting work or school schedules: 11% did not vote because they were not interested or felt their vote would not make a difference: and 10% did not like the candidates or the issues. To be perfectly honest, these citizens were either uneducated or simply lazy. To use excuses such as being busy with work or school is not sufficient when one’s 15th and 19th amendment rights are at stake. For decades, people fought and died for the right to vote. Now, when every United States citizen is legally allowed to voice his or her opinion, there are still people who choose not to do so. What would Susan B Anthony have to say about this trend?
If Ms. Anthony were alive today, she would probably tell students to turn off MTV, put away their teen Vogues and unplug their iPods for 20 minutes and ask them to define their values. By simply understanding your own values, choosing a presidential candidate for the 2008 election will be much easier. Registering to vote can be done on line, at the local Town Hall, or by mail. If you will be 18 years old by the2008 election, voting is one of the surest ways you can secure your future. Take the time to let your political voice be heard. However small this voice may be, it is important and there are people who want to hear it.