Fight for your right

As interest groups and lobbyists seize control of the nation’s capital and as political parties become more similar, the people have responded. Voter turnout has been decreasing for years and a major cause of this is the general feeling of disgust that people have for most candidates and political insiders.

Among all of the new things senior year brings, one just may be the most important: voting. While many dispute whether voting is a right, a privilege, or a requirement, there is one thing I urge all eligible voters to do: vote.

A few weeks ago I was walking to my car to go and get lunch with a friend and because of the upcoming Election Supplement, politics came up. While neither my friend nor myself will be of age in November, it is an important and eye-opening topic.

I could never imagine not voting if I was able to, but my friend said that even if he could vote, he doubted he would. He said that he can never find a candidate he likes. Given that he is a wealthy, well-educated Angeleno, I was floored. He is exactly the type of person that typically does vote. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised.

A lot of students at our school may elect to pass on the political process, but the only way for America to be a true democracy, the only way the political system can function as it should, is if people vote.

If more than half of California does not vote in the November gubernatorial election, then we are being represented by someone we students may not want or someone a majority of the state does not want. I know that it is often hard to find a good candidate, and I know that most people don’t know about the propositions, but this is no excuse, for it is the duty of the electorate to stay informed.

I can’t speak on behalf of seniors at other schools or adults I don’t know, but I am confident in saying that there is no reason any 18 year-old Harvard-Westlake student should not vote. Most of us have all the tools we need to stay informed.

Most of us get at least one newspaper delivered to our house every day. Read it. Those who don’t subscribe to a newspaper have the opportunity to get one every time they go and get coffee or get gas.

Most students have a computer. Do more than play games, download music or go on Facebook. All it takes is spending 15 to 30 minutes a day on a newspaper’s website or on any site with good information, and you can be an informed voter.

If you can’t take the time to register to vote, then something needs to change in your life. After all, it only takes five minutes.

Finally, once you’ve registered, you get the election packet that will inform you on everything you are voting on. Sit down, look through it and make your decisions.

I know most students have extremely busy lives, but voting just takes a little extra time with a great result. For those of you taking economics, the time and what you could do with it is the opportunity cost. It’s not all that large.

The benefit is that you’ve voted and you’ve promoted democracy: a much bigger benefit.

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