Opinion: A message to millennials: Be sure to cast your vote


File photo from Lindenlink.com.

Hillary Clinton was spotted “just chillin’” on Snapchat. Donald Trump, on the other hand, celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a taco salad via Instagram. These are just a couple of the numerous ways presidential candidates have gone all out to attract the millennial vote.

The influence that young adults have over politics today is staggering. But the problem is that many millennials don’t realize the power they possess. It’s about time that we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, become informed citizens and help our country make decisions that will impact our futures.

We’ve all heard the phrase “your vote counts.” Many have mentally responded with “I literally haven’t seen the news since 2009.” However, when it comes to issues like education standards and student loan rates, college students are the most qualified voters. The objective of every politician is to be elected to office. To do so, they have to build platforms on issues that the majority of voters care about. While voters of other demographics may consider the elderly and children when making voting decisions, college students tend to be put on the back burner. It doesn’t have to be that way. All it takes is a ballot and a few minutes to influence the decisions that will affect society today as well as tomorrow.

Use your vote.

While right now it might seem like the realities of adulthood are far off, they will soon be unavoidable. This means that even if policies that are voted on today — like health care and economic policies — don’t have an immediate impact on the lives of millennials, they will definitely have post-college repercussions. Hello, property taxes. These decisions are not to be taken lightly or ignored. They also shouldn’t be left solely up to the baby-boomer generation merely because they have the highest poll turnout.

Use your vote.

According to U.S census, 70 percent of people age 65 and up voted in 2012, while only 38 percent of adults ages 18-24 made their way to the polls. It’s also worth noting that the country as a whole benefits — or suffers —from the amount of millennials who make their way to the voting booth. Every person represents a specific demographic of people with varying views on political issues. No other generational demographic displays as much diversity as millennials and college-aged voters.

According to rockthevote.com, 40 percent of millennials represent various minorities. No other demographic has the potential to display such a wide range of political viewpoints at such a large scale. It is reported on democracyexperience.edu that 44 million millennials are eligible to vote in the United States. Do you still feel like millennials represent a small slice of the American population?

In the 2000 presidential election, George Bush beat Al Gore with a whopping 537 votes. Next time you see Gore, ask him if every vote matters.
So yes, fellow college student, the fate of this country lies in your hands. Don’t let Trump’s and Clinton’s efforts to get your attention go to waste. Let your opinion be heard.

Use your vote.