Get Out The Vote!

The recent presidential election has seemed to have had a great impact on many people’s emotions. Some feel worried, frustrated, excited, anxious, or all of the above. No matter the outcome of the election, the one thing everyone can do to influence our government at the local level is vote! 

Voting allows everyone to get involved in social and political change within the country. “It’s the easiest way to participate in democracy and to make your voice heard,” said senior Karenna Barrales. Barrales was able to cast her vote in this year’s presidential election for the first time, along with many other Riverbend seniors.

It may seem as if only one person’s vote out of the million other people in the United States wouldn’t have an impact on the election. One would ask themselves, “Why vote if my vote isn’t going to do anything to influence the government?” Throughout American history, there have been many candidates who have won their election by less than 0.1%. In the election of 2000, President Bush won against Al Gore by just 0.009% in Florida, which enabled Bush to win the presidential election. 

Facts show that the younger generation of the United States is least likely to vote when compared to the entire voting age population. “I would argue that the most underrepresented group in national policy making are 18-28 year olds.  This group, the future of our democracy, turns out around 40% in elections.  Therefore, this group is one of the most sought after on election day to vote, but this group is the least thought of when it comes to policy making,” said AP Government teacher, Mr. Wessel. “There is a reason why the majority of federal and state monies/policy is directed at older populations.  If 18-28 year olds voted in larger numbers we would see wholesale changes in education policy, debt policy, reforms to major entitlement programs to insure these survived for generations.”  

Even though not everyone at Riverbend is able to vote during this election, it’s still important to get the word out and encourage others to vote in the future. “[Students]should get involved every year, so they learn about politics and help shape the future of the United States,” said junior Kalea Wilson.You choose who governs you and laws that affect you. Even if you don’t like a certain candidate , you can always skip that and vote on a ballot measure that affects you.”  

Whether voting or not, everyone should understand how important it is to participate in democracy now or in the near future!