The Broadside Editorial Board
Note: This editorial reflects the opinion of The Broadside’s team of editors—Seth Root, Sarah Lightley and Roman Russell, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Broadside’s staff as a whole.
Forty-six percent. According to the United States Census Bureau, that’s the percentage of young people ages 18 to 29 voted in the last presidential election.
Compared to other age groups, this is relatively low. We are sure that there are plenty of good reasons why many young people decided not to vote. After all, the two candidates that we had last time were not the best representation. However, here at The Broadside, we want to encourage students, staff, and Central Oregon Community College faculty to go out and vote.
Peggy Noonan, an American columnist, once said that “our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up in the polls.” She is right. Voting is the best way to make our voices heard. By voting, we tell our leaders just what issues are essential. However, if people do not vote, our leaders start serving their own interests and not serving the interests of the public good, which is how many civilizations fell.
Voting to be heard is an important reason to go to the polls, but it is not the only reason to vote. Many issues affect young people, like the economy, health care, and education. The officials that Americans elect will determine how these critical issues are dealt with within our nation. So, we implore our readers to research and choose who best reflects their beliefs and values. If not, an official will be elected that does not truly reflect the beliefs and values of this nation, at no fault of their own, but at the fault of those who choose not to be heard.
We understand that many young people are hesitant about voting. It can be very confusing. That’s why we encourage everyone to get themselves educated. Read the voter’s pamphlet. Go to the candidate’s website and familiarize yourself with their plans and actions. So that by the time your ballot hits your mailbox, you will be ready and educated.