Registering to vote doesn’t cut it

The right to vote is debatably one of the most important rights as a citizen of a democratic country, yet a significant amount of U.S. citizens chose not to exercise this right.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 50 percent of people ages 18 to 24 are registered voters and only 36 percent of those registered are actually going to the polls to vote.

Registering to vote is not enough, though. The real issue now is getting these young adults to actually go to the polls and vote.

Although San Mateo County has reported an increase of registered voters, it is yet to be seen that these voters actually exercise their rights.

With outstanding issues such as social security benefits, bringing back and revising the draft, stem cell research, our own state deficit, and much more, it is amazing to think that so many young people don’t care enough to voice their opinions on Nov. 2.

One argument is that some students do not feel adequate enough to vote. They feel that they are not aware of the issues as they should be, and they are scared to think that they may be voting on the wrong sides of certain issues

Many young registered voters feel this way therefore preventing them from going to the polls.

This is a very scary thought: a young person who makes the choice to register but doesn’t make the choice to learn about the issues. There are voter pamphlets, different websites, and all sorts of different resources that would not take a great deal of time to go over and learn the issues. You can even ask different professors about issues that are not quite clear.

Another argument is that students believe that voting simply does not work. Young, disenfranchised voters can feel like they have been tricked into thinking their vote counts.

Some students believe that no matter how many people vote, the voting system just does not work.

Even though many young voters feel going to the polls doesn’t change anything, this is simply not the truth.

It is ignorant to think that voting doesn’t count because simply put it does. This upcoming election is not just about who will be the next leader of the U.S., although a very important issue, there is more to it than that. This coming election has different propositions that will affect our futures. Our votes DO count on those issues. It should matter to young people because voting affects those who will run our little communities, our schools, our police forces and so on.

These are pressing issues and to give excuses for not voting such as “I don’t know the issues,” or “my vote doesn’t count,” does not cut it anymore.

When all is said and done, registering to vote is simply not enough anymore. Young people need to wake up and realize that there are real issues out there which they can vote on. It simple is not enough to just register, but to use a right that so many men and women suffered to acquire, to get out there and vote.