BY SARAH ROUSSELL
On November 6, 2012, America will be voting for the next president of the United States. This day will not only be a determining factor of the next four years of our country’s future, but it will also be a turning point for many Cooper City High School seniors. During this election season, a majority of the 2012 graduating class will be voting for the first time. However, with this privilege comes great responsibility. Future voters would be doing the country and themselves a great injustice if they aimlessly vote without being thoroughly informed.
The Founding Fathers believed that it was the responsibility of the American voter to be knowledgeable of the country’s issues and candidates before deciding how to vote. The same ideas should apply today. In order to make your vote count, you must consider each party and the values they stand for. When picking a party, it is important to consider your individual beliefs, ideas and opinions. By understanding what each party stands for you can make informed and intelligent decisions on how to vote.
As voters, it is critical to be informed and aware of the decisions that America’s leaders are making and what is taking place within the economy and government. Decisions that are made today will affect our adult lives. For example, health care is an important topic that has an impact in every American life. As a young voter it is crucial that you pay attention to the decisions made on health care because you will one day have to provide and make decisions for your own health care coverage.
It has often been said that there is great power in numbers. Based on the size of young voters of today, this statement can certainly be proven true. Young adults born within the years of 1978 to 2000 are considered to be a part of the Millennial Generation. The biggest and most diverse yet, the millennial generation represents more than one-fifth of the electorate. According to the Center for American Progress, by 2020, 90 million millennial voters will represent 40 percent of America’s eligible voters. With statistics such as these, it’s easy to see the impact that the millennial generation can have if they make informed decisions.
Not only is the Millennial generation the biggest in American history, but it is also a generation that has the most powerful resources available to them. With the revolution of Internet and online media comes a wave of new tools. Social networking sites and search engines provide a gateway for endless information. With such a diverse outlets for news and research, there is no reason for future voters not to be informed. Just a click of a button can instantly connect you with the world, but it is up to you to make the choice to do so.
From August 24 to the 30, 2010 Rock the Vote conducted polls on 1000 18-29 year olds. When asked if they thought things in the country were moving in the right or the wrong direction, the results showed that 49% answered with wrong direction, 40% replied right direction, and 12% answered that they weren’t sure. What do you think? In order to determine the best response you must understand where our country is today. Jobs and the economy, education costs and the environmental concerns are all important problems that directly affect the lives of future voters. Choosing to observe the way they are dealt with today will allow future voters to decide how they should be dealt with in the future.
Whether it’s voting for the next leader of the country or deciding whether or not a bill should be passed, many would agree that the freedom to vote is one of the greatest privileges that come with being an American. The opportunity to voice your opinion is one that encourages many to take a stand towards change and fulfill their American right. When marking your ballot, it’s expected that you’re voting for things that are in the best interest of the country and its citizens.