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Should College Students Vote … or is it All Just a Waste of Time?

Some are calling the Nov. 3 Presidential Election the most important vote in modern history, others are saying nothing much will change in the United States of America regardless of the outcome. But what about college students, and specifically college journalists? What do our MBU Timeline writers say about this topic?

Protesters with signs march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963, proving then what we know now, just how important it is for us all to vote in the presidential elections. The original black and white negative was taken by Marion S. Trikosko, colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd. The image is archived in the U.S. Library of Congress. The background flag is a photo taken by Lucas Sankey and provided copyright-free on Unsplash. The graphic composite is by C. Allin Means.

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By JACK GIENKE

The college student demographic should be one of the most fought-over groups when it comes to elections, but it isn’t, because they don’t show up to the polls.

The young adult demographic, ages 18-29, constitutes around 20 percent of the total voting population, more than enough to sway the political polls.

But according to Tufts, in 2016 only 48 percent of eligible college students actually voted, and during the 2018 mid-term election only 40 percent voted; compare that to the national averages of 61 percent and 50 percent respectively.

Outside of the simple fact that college age individuals make up a substantial percentage of the voice of America, voting is a privilege and right.

In many countries around the world people aren’t allowed any voice in the way they are governed, they are simply at the whims of the people already in power.

Americans have the ability to voice their opinions in the political spectrum, and it is a privilege that we shouldn’t take lightly.    

Many people believe that a single vote won’t matter or that their opinion will simply be drowned out, but one fifth of the eligible population is a lot of single votes.      

So, go out, educate yourself on the election and the candidates, and then vote. 

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By PATRICK GRIFFEY

I think it is very important for college students to vote because of an overwhelming number of reasons. 

To not vote is to give up your voice, which is something that we should strive to use because our voices matter. 

There are tons of other reasons to vote as a college student, 10 of which are listed in Douglas Fehlen’s article, “10 Reasons Why College Students Should Vote.”

I think even further than those reasons, it is important to vote as a college student because it is training you to reject passivity, and strive for change. 

When thinking about the importance of your single vote, it may seem insignificant, but what kind of person are you becoming in your participation, or lack thereof? 

The consequences of habitual passivity carry on throughout life, and affect our country in the long run. 

By voting, we can reject passivity, and fight for what we believe in.

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By MADISYN HOUSE

If you are an eligible voter, it is your right and duty to vote in elections.

Because the amount of eligible college-aged voters is so large, their votes could greatly affect the outcome of an election. 

Less than half of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 exercised their right to vote in 2014, according to “Why College Student Voting Matters,” from Tufts University. Imagine the impact that group could have if they all performed their civic responsibility and voted. 

This is due to the idea that many students believe their vote will not matter. Yet elections can have a great impact on their lives and futures. Why wouldn’t they want a say in that? 

At the very least, votes are counted and can contribute to other changes within the country based on the statistics created from elections.

For hundreds of years, historical figures fought for the right to vote. They longed for their voices to be heard, and it would be a shame if that dream was ignored due to the dismissiveness of eligible voters. 

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By MOLLY MUNOZ

This is my second election as an eligible voter, but I can’t say I am thrilled to exercise my right to vote, just as many other people seem to feel about the upcoming November election. 

I do, however, believe it is important to exercise my right to vote. 

When I am having difficulty choosing between candidates, I think of my grandparents, parents and the leaders who made sacrifices so I could live the life I have today. 

If my vote alone could better the lives of my grandparents, my future children, or our nation in general, I should take every chance I get to vote. This is how my decision has often been made since the 2016 election.

I truly believe if I choose not to vote then I do not have the right to complain about my circumstances in the future, that is, if I did not try to make a change in my nation from the beginning.

We are the future of our nation so if we don’t begin to fight for our rights and what we believe in, who will?

Women have only had the right to vote since the 19th Amendment passed in 1920 after over 70 years of fighting for voting equality between male and female genders. 

As a woman and a young college student, my vote matters and it counts, whereas 100 years ago I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity. 

By voting, I may be given a chance to help bring about a historical victory like the passing of the 19th Amendment did in 1920, and you have that same chance.

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About MBU Timeline

MBU

DID YOU KNOW?
   
Here are some interesting facts about MBU Timeline, the student newsmagazine of Missouri Baptist University, in St. Louis:
   
*Our mission statement is: MBU Timeline is the student news network of Missouri Baptist University, a private Christian university that embraces the essential core value of “social change through service and leadership.”
   
*The Bible verse that drives our mission is 2 Timothy 2:15 (Worldwide English Version): “Tell the true message in the right way.”
   
*The WordPress website has been up since late-fall 2013. We average about 3,000 sessions and about 5,000 pageviews per month.
   
*Our stories and galleries get as few as 40 or 50 hits, or as many as 8,000 hits.
   
*We have readers in every state and more than 90 countries around the world. We have several readers in South America, the United Kingdom, India and Australia.
   
*Most of our readers are in Missouri, followed by Illinois, California and Texas.
   
*We do not accept advertising as we are a not-for-profit online newsmagazine.
   
*We welcome contributors from all walks of MBU life, regardless of your major. Reach out to us on Twitter at: @mbutimeline.