It’s not 2012, nor is it the year of presidential elections. However, now is more important than ever for young adults to be rallying at the polls. All across the nation political leaders are counting on the votes of their local citizens to make monumental decisions regarding national debates and legislation. This year’s mid-term election is said to be one of the most critical in history. There are 37 governors up for office nationwide and 37 senators—the most that have been up for election since 1962.
Votes will decide whether the White House is controlled by Democrats or Republicans, and with Congress being one of the most influential and decision making branches in government, your vote is necessary to make sure that your voice will be heard on the decisions that matter to you most. Here are five reasons why you should vote at the mid-term elections on November 2.
1. Control the color of the White House. You won’t be able to remodel the furniture in the Oval office or paint the White House pink, but your vote will count in determining whether or not the Republicans overtake Congress or the Democrats hold onto their seats. Both parties have strongly different views in terms of what pieces of legislation they support.
2. What goes up, must come down. The local level matters. As the past year has shown, some laws are strongly impacted or shaped by state legislature and can spark a national debate (remember SB 1070 and Arizona’s goals to eliminate ethnic studies classes?). Your electoral choices for your state will help to shape policy for the nation and vice versa.
3. Do It because you CAN. And because your ancestors couldn’t. 75 years ago African Americans were chased by blood thirsty dogs, locked in jail, and assaulted and killed for even attempting to exercise their right to vote. Furthermore, women didn’t earn their right to vote in the US until 1920. People in the past fought so that the people of today could have the right to express their opinions and take part in the shaping of their government. Don’t let the energy of these passionate organizers and leaders go to waste. VOTE.
4. Your state could be bankin’ next year—or not. Most states struggled to avoid budget deficits this year and, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 39 states have already predicted budget gaps of $100 billion. Governors will have to make important decisions on what programs to cut—and if you’re all about saving the music, increasing sustainability, or assuring that lottery funds continue to fund higher education, then your midterm election vote will count.
5. Show America that young adults care. Since 1974, less than half of the nation’s eligible population has voted when a presidential election is not at stake—that’s everyone except for older Americans who know how important midterms are. The 2006 midterm elections showed that 65 percent of votes came from voters who were 45 and older, and this number is steadily growing. With Obama’s approach to inspire a bubbling and politically conscious youth, now is the time to prove to the nation that young adults don’t simply complain about political issues—but that they want to do something about it.