Knock the vote
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
I’m not voting.
Ever since I was in elementary school I have been told to vote. I have been educated about the elections, taught the values of each political party and gotten the Democratic process drilled into me by voting for class officers.
I registered when I turned 18. I was ready to make my voice heard and vote for the leader of this country.
But I’m fed up.
Since I turned 18, I have tried to educate myself about the electoral process so I am not just blindly casting a vote on a candidate. I have come to one simple realization: my vote doesn’t matter.
You could call me an ignorant and uninformed college student, but hear me out.
For one thing, I am a native New Yorker from Long Island. For this election I would need to go online, apply for an absentee ballot, fill one out and mail it back to my county for it to be counted. That’s a lot of effort for my vote to end up not making a difference.
New York has always been, and will continue to be, a blue democratic state. I happen to agree with most of the Democratic values, so I don’t mind. But if I did decide to agree with the Republican way of life, my vote wouldn’t matter.
It all comes down to the Electoral College.
Voters will cast their popular vote at the polls, but ultimately it boils down to the 538 electors who represent the states to decide who will lead the country. The number of officials is equivalent to one per member in the House of Representatives and two for the number of senators.
The representatives of New York will vote for Obama this year and there is nothing you or I can do about it. Our votes get counted but are never heard.
The popular vote should have a say in who runs the country. Anyone remember the 2000 election between President George W. Bush and Al Gore? Gore won the popular vote, but Bush won the Electoral College votes and, therefore, the presidency. Think of how the history of the country could have been altered if the popular vote truly held the power.
When I tuned in to the debate last night and listened to the issues that were discussed, I realized that almost none of them pertained to my daily life.
Go ahead and call me selfish.
Major corporations such as MTV have been trying to get teens to “choose or lose” or “rock the vote” for years, but what they don’t realize is the issues don’t necessarily pertain to young adults.
During last night’s debate, the most talked-about topic was healthcare.
Statistically, the age group that makes up the majority of the voting population is over the age of 60. This is why the candidates aim their arguments and platforms around topics like health care reforms and social security benefits.
But that has nothing to do with me. Once again, call me selfish.
This is the vicious cycle that makes up the political world.
Candidates keep campaigning to get the young adult population to register to vote and “make their voice heard,” but there is nothing in the political platforms that kids will want to vote for.
It’s a game of chicken – young voters against the presidential candidates.
If the candidates would emphasize the young adult viewpoints on topics such as the improvement of education, student loans or internal social issues – like gay marriage, the drinking age or abortion – then more young people would rush to get to the polls to elect the officials who represent their opinions.
Even though I don’t speak for the entire 18-24 demographic, I know that if a political candidate got up and was ready to take a stand for my age group, I would vote for him or her without hesitation.
Almost any issue could become important to this generation, if it was presented in a way that made me want to care about the outcome. Call me uneducated, but if an electoral candidate stooped down to the collegiate level and spoke about the major issues affecting the country and how they affect my life, then I would reconsider my stance on voting.
But for now, I’m not voting in this election. It doesn’t count anyway.