By COURTNEY BECK
Why should college students take the time to go out and vote? For many years, this controversial question has sparked the idea that voting does not really matter, so why should students take a break from their busy schedules to go out and provide a meaningless vote.
Here at NMSU, there have been many voting officials walking around with clip boards, asking students and faculty if they are registered in New Mexico to vote. While most people do in fact say ‘yes’, they are already registered, yet many will not go out and cast their vote.
Chris Woods of the New Voters Project of New Mexico PIRG, which is a non patrician voter registration and mobilization effort that works under the New Mexico PIRG, has been out on campus all week getting students to register to vote. Woods says, ” We are working to turn out students to vote because, historically, youth vote has been the lowest represented age group in the entire voter electorate.”
“In 2014, the youth voter turnout was less than 20%. For the millennial generation being the largest and most diverse voting block ever, if we do not turn out to vote, it has major consequences for our democracy. ”
The epidemic of non-voters has grown drastically in the past few years. According to the U.S. Census, only 42% of registered U.S. citizens voted in the 2014 midterm elections. Results like this are devastating to political parties. The less voting there is, the less likely it is for the underdog politician to have a fighting chance.
Woods comments that,” For the people who say that its not important to vote because our vote doesn’t mater, it is certainly not true for local and at the state level elections.”
Not every registered voter is a member of the Republican or Democratic party. There is a smaller percent of men and women who have decided to take an alternative route and support the third party.
With the 2016 Presidential Election becoming such a hot topic, regular party voters are not supporting their party’s candidate at alarming rates.
This leads to the popular perception that not voting at all will help the chances of the third party or a write in, win the election.
Though this experiment has not proven to be true yet, independent voters are still hopeful for the change. However, by doing so and deciding not to vote at all, the American public has tilted the political system.
Voting is vitally important to not only the country’s future, but also the NMSU community. Voting impacts much more than just the presidency election, it effects local and state laws as well. Voice your opinion by voting to make a difference.
To register to vote for not only the state of New Mexico but also the county, the New Voters Project will be hosting tabling events and registration blitzes around campus for the remainder of the semester. Do the American thing and make a difference in this country. Vote!