Presidential Election Demands Young Voter Turnout

October 13, 2008
By Samantha Mackson, Miami, FL

For many high school seniors, 12th grade is a series of “firsts:” first time applying to college, first time attending the senior prom, and first time planning to live independently. One of the biggest “firsts” for many 18-year old students this year will be voting in a presidential election.

As young American citizens, it is crucial to participate in the political process. Learning about the candidates for United States President is essential so that one can make an educated decision in November. Students often have strong opinions on American leadership and the government, and voting is an effective way to offer their input. Young voters must grab this chance to affect our country’s future success.

Voting by 18-year-olds also allows the younger generation to be recognized. After all, it is this group who has a long-term stake in the future of the country. Many young adults often feel patronized or coddled by their parents or teachers. Voting offers them a chance to be treated as equals with the rest of the population. They have the ability to voice their opinion just as much as the older generation.

In addition, voting is an honor and a privilege. It is an enormous benefit of being an American and living in a democratic society. People living under oppressive regimes throughout the world lack the freedom to get their opinions heard, and therefore they play no role in their government or the success or failure of their country. Fortunately, all Americans 18 years and older are able to exercise their freedom to vote, and everyone should take advantage.

Even in our own country, the right to vote was not easily obtained. Women, for example, fought a long, difficult battle through the suffrage movement to achieve the important milestone of gaining the right to vote. They finally earned this right in 1920. Similarly, African Americans did not earn the right to vote until 1870, and they were not even considered full citizens until 1964. These battles waged by our predecessors paved the way for the rights we enjoy today.

The upcoming 2008 election will be the first in many years that there has been no incumbent president or vice president running for the Presidency. In addition, the result will be historic, whether Barack Obama becomes the first African-American President, or Sarah Palin takes the oath as the first female Vice-President. With such a momentous election upon us, young voters should seize the opportunity to be part of history.
The presidential race is wide open, and has been fascinating from the moment of the earliest primary. The swinging pendulum for the Democratic seat and the numerous candidates who initially sought the Republican ticket have made this a year to remember. End it with gusto by getting out, grabbing your first opportunity to make a difference, and casting your vote in November!

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book