To Vote or Not to Vote

Lauren Owens, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again for Election Day.  Signs are plastered on every corner and most yards.  Politicians flood the media with commercials supporting their campaign with propaganda to draw in the most votes for their sought after political office.  Many Americans are preparing to elect new state officials this year, and the children in public schools receive a free day to spend at home relaxing.

As a 17-year-old freshman in college, I have little to no interest in the election occurring around me being that I cannot take part in the voting process.  Matter of fact, I am clueless to what this election is actually for other than our state officials being elected such as governor and state treasurer.  I don’t keep up with politics or news as well as I should, and I catch myself struggling to even find time to keep up with university and social media news much less national news.  Most of my peers around me have gotten their voters registration card, and they are voting this year for the first time.  Seeing them prepare for their first time voting has told me one thing: I will not be registering to vote any time soon.

When discussing the topic of voting with my peers who are first time voters, the most popular factors that determine the candidates they vote for are: their parent’s beliefs, social issues that are insignificant in the face of our broken economy and government, and whoever supports a particular political party.  In my personal belief, a vote should be an educated decision based on which candidate will best fit the ideal future for the country.

Honestly, I don’t feel that I am as responsible or socially aware of politics as I should be.  I know where I stand on social issues, but the only knowledge of political leaders I have are their boisterous ads and signs.  I do not pay enough attention to the politicians who are currently in office much less the possible future leaders of South Carolina and America.  Yes, come February I will be of age to vote legally, but I will not exercise this right until my vote really means something more than somebody else’s opinion or what I have been swayed to vote from a campaign commercial.

Voting itself was a right given to Americans through the foundation of our country, but the emphasis should be put on the word given.  There is a great responsibility that comes along with voting.  The future of the country rests in the votes of all citizens combined.  In order for America to be sustained, we, the citizens of America, must do our best to ensure that we are socially aware of all the ideas the political candidates support.  It is a dangerous territory for Americans to blindly vote without being well informed on all candidates and policies.  This decides who we give the power in our country to.  Before you vote again, it is extremely important to have done research on all of the candidates and being positive in who you vote for.

In the future, when I have a better understanding of the government and its many facets, I will register to vote and make an informed decision on who I would like to see better the country.  Until that day, I will not take part in the elections.