See you at the polls

Political participation should be important to eligible teens and adults


Canva Graphics

Voting is an important civic privilege that all citizens should act upon.

Emma Siebold, Editor-in-Chief

As the Texas gubernatorial election nears, questions arise as to whether eligible teens will show up at the polls. 

The two candidates for governor, Republican incumbent Greg Abbott and Democrat Beto O’Rourke, represent a politically divided Texas. The results of this election will have an impact on this state for years to come.

Voting is a privilege, and every single eligible adult should do their best to vote this Election Day.

More than 8 million youths across the nation will be newly eligible to vote this year, and each one should register to vote. Many women, African-Americans and other marginalized groups have fought and died for the privilege of suffrage. Additionally, the American voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971 during the Vietnam War to better include young adults across the country who were old enough to serve in the military.

Citizens in non-democratic countries – such as China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia – don’t even have the opportunity to vote for their representatives. 

The final day to register to vote in Texas was Oct.11, but once you’ve registered to vote in Texas, you’re an active voter. 

According to the New Policy Institute, 53-55 % of eligible voters 18-29 years old voted in the 2020 presidential election. Young voters have extensive access to the news via social media, which allows them to form their own opinions, take action and raise that percentage.

Performative activism is a common way for teens to get politically involved – there’s nothing too difficult about reposting an infographic or sharing a hashtag. But truly taking a stand, getting up and getting out to vote, is true political participation.

Every senior is currently enrolled in a U.S. government or economics course and therefore should be educated on the inner workings of the American political and economic system. The future of Gen Z – the economy, political atmosphere, environmental status – rests entirely on the representatives who are elected now.

The future of Gen Z – the economy, political atmosphere, environmental status – rests entirely on the representatives who are elected now.

— Emma Siebold

Young voters who think their vote does not matter, especially in state and local elections, do not believe they can make a difference in the grand scheme of things.

One voter with that mindset turns to two, turns to a million. That’s a million votes that “don’t matter.” Every vote not cast is the one that does not matter.

Every vote matters. Every voice should be heard. If you’re registered to vote, get out and act on your democratic privilege.