The WEB's editorial: Please Vote!

Young people are often subject to endless clichés about how “we are the future” and how “we must be ready to lead the nation.” Taken at face value, we are the future, just as every previous generation has been. What is true is that we do have one of the most daunting tasks as the planet runs out of resources and nuclear material is widely possessed by all sorts of lunatics. In all honesty, we should start stepping up to the plate (another cliché), and the first place to start is by voting. Voter turnout among 18-24 year old US citizens has not been over 50% since 1972. That is nearly four decades of more than half of us waiving the easiest way to change things. Of course a large majority of Ames High students will not be eligible to vote, but it is still worth a push to get every single eligible voter to the polls. Those who argue that voting does not make a difference are simply ignorant to their surroundings. Obama’s huge victory during the Iowa caucuses was largely due to huge numbers of voter turnout among the youth. PEW charitable trusts states that voter turnout among the youth in the Iowa caucuses quadrupled from 2000. CNN polls show that 57% of young Democrats supported Obama, and that the youth made up 22% of all Democratic caucus goers. Unfortunately for the Republicans, only 11% of their caucus goers were between 17 and 29. Those who argue that one vote does not make a difference are, again, ignorant. The classic example is the 2000 election in Florida. Bush won Florida by roughly 500 votes. The votes of eligible Story county high school students could have almost tipped that election alone, and just consider the possibilities if Bush was not president. Who your vote goes to does not matter, as long as it is cast. Just the percentage of voter turnout among youth creates change. If and when politicians see that a large amount of the youth populous is becoming active, then the youth will be taken into account. Issues that affect us will all of a sudden be important to politicians when they realize that the youth must be courted. An example is our own congressman, Tom Latham. Youth voter turnout in congressional elections is very low, which is probably why Mr. Latham has managed to get away with a “D” rating by the National Education Association. Whatever reason you have for supporting your favorite candidate, be it you are an ardent fundamentalist Christian or a young and blooming socialist, voting is the most basic way to have a say. In Iowa, you must register at least 10 days before the election. Don’t give up your rights due to apathy; take the few minutes to register to vote. – Editorial composed by Kevin Arritt on behalf of The WEB’s editorial board