Avoid voting just to exercise voting rights

Should one vote just to proudly wear an “I voted” sticker and say they participated in the event? I feel like many times this is why people do it. From conversation with my friends and family, I hear way too many times that they voted for whom someone had told them to vote for.

Not only are people becoming lazy, but also it is hurting the U.S. It is not right to vote for someone who could get elected to run the country merely because someone influenced you to vote for him or her.

You should do research and see what each candidate’s values are and compare them to your own, instead of basing your decision on what you hear.

Yes, I have my own personal views on specific candidate, but I am not here to promote any specific candidate. If I were, I would fall into that trap of not allowing people to dig into finding out facts.

There is another side to this issue. Some people just don’t want to vote. Yes, they may know who they would like to win, but when elections role around, they do not go out and vote.

In 2014, the U.S. Census reported that only 42 percent of Americans voted in the midterm elections that year, which was the lowest turnout since 1978. A more relatable poll done by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that young adults between 18 and 24 consistently tend to have the lowest voting rates since 1962.

But than you may ask yourself, what’s really in it for me if I vote? I know I’ve asked myself this before. As a college student, you may feel like you have everything going for you, but when you graduate and head into the real world your role in society will change.

I went around asking various students why they do not vote. Here is what I got:

Some said they don’t vote because they feel their votes don’t matter; some don’t vote because they don’t really care; some just flat out don’t want to wait in lines; and some said they were peer-pressured into not voting.

Your opinion does matter. A recent study done by US Today at North Atlantic University shines some light onto why some students will vote. Some feel that their vote will produce change in the economy, that their vote will impact their future and could help the unemployment rate go down.

As future elections role around, one should diligently seek out information on candidates and go vote. Your opinion does matter. Not only does it affect for your future, but it can affect the future of the country.

Meghan Mitchell is a junior journalism major from Snellville, Ga. She is a sports writer for the Lariat.