Since the 2008 presidential election, more than 2 million people have become naturalized and will be first-time voters on November 6 this year. Among them, young minorities makes up a large fraction of the percentage, myself included. It’s alarming that only about half of eligible young voters actually turned out at the polls in the 2008 elections. That’s more than 20 million young people who didn’t exercise their right to vote!
It’s not just the duty of being a citizen to exercise my voting rights, but I’m excited to have my voice be heard for the first time. Here’s why you should go out and vote and what things to keep in mind:
- For young voters like myself — especially if you’re a first-timer — it’s important to read up on each candidate and his or her stand concerning issues such as healthcare, education, employment, taxes. etc., before making a choice. All those are important issues that affect young people directly whether immediate or gradual, so we should have a say in the laws that gets implemented. The only way to have our voice be heard is to go out and vote for the candidate that supports our views.
- If you’re a recent graduate or just entered into the work force, you should know that the Congress, the president, the governor and our legislators influence what job training is available, minimum wage, job and pension security, fairness in hiring, health insurance through your employer, interest rates on student loans and workplace safety.
- The elected officials and judges we vote into office make daily decisions about crime prevention, laws and law enforcement, safe and affordable homes, where to put schools, parks and recreation.