When I turned 18 years old, I could buy lottery tickets, get my adult license and finally register to vote. Since then, I have voted in every election – even the primaries. I even vote in all of the Student Government Association (SGA) elections.
I find it exciting to have my vote count because I know how it feels to not have your voice heard or perspective cared about. Not all college students share the same excitement.
Less than half of undergraduate students voted in 2016, even though about 70 percent of them were registered to vote, according to a study done by the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement.
Every college student who is an American citizen and above the age of 18 years old should be required by their school to be registered to vote.
Generally speaking, higher education is meant to engage students, challenge our thought process and teach us more about the world. I would think because of that, we would be the most politically engaged group.
We are also fairly young, which means we are going to be affected by the decisions we make now. So why is it that 20 percent of college students did not vote (according to the study) when they could have and 30 percent of students were not even registered to vote in the 2016 elections?
Some students claim to not care, some are not registered to vote and some believe it is a hassle to vote if where they attend school is too far from their polling place. Lucky for Seton Hall students, the SGA and Seton Hall have joined with TurboVote to make voting easier for students.
If you go to shu.turbovote.org, you can easily create an account that can register you to vote, change your mailing address, request an absentee ballot and remind you of elections. Basically, this site helps students with the obstacles they might face that could prevent them from voting.
The midterm elections are on Nov. 6 this year, which means all states will vote on Congress and Representative seats with some states voting on governors, state legislatures and municipal level positions.
Just like you, these people that are running for office care about issues that they want to change with legislation. They have websites and will be appearing at events covered by the media. This means that even if you are an out of state student, there are ways to learn about what your candidates stand for.
There really is no excuse to not be registered to vote. Just like Seton Hall requires CORE classes, they should also require us to register to vote, which is truly encouraging us to engage in the world.
Sarah Yenesel is a senior journalism major from Morristown, N.J. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.