A story appearing in this week’s edition of the Chronicle touches on the voting habits of the students at Shepherd University. The details of the story show what is likely the standard among young voters and that is lack of interest in the process or outcome of elections. And this standard applies not only to college age voters but to many of differing age groups.
The focus on the “me” generation seems to have led to a lack of participation in the process or even a lack of knowledge of the process. Wanting things to change or to remain a certain way is a desire that never fades; however, knowing that voting for the people who can make those changes happen or not is out of the knowledge base.
Every eligible voter, from age 18 and beyond, needs to know what the process is; they need to register to vote and then take the time to educate themselves about the candidates and make an informed decision.
Voters may register for the primary election to be held May 8 up to 21 days prior to that election. There is simply no excuse for anyone who is of voting age to cry out against decisions made by public officials if the voter makes no effort to learn about and vote for a candidate.
Many issues, from national to local, are of great importance in the 2012 election. Politicians have been and will continue to campaign for the vote. Let us not be discouraged by half-truths or negative campaigning. Instead, take the time to learn about the issues and dig deeper than the TV advertisements on who can or will make the changes you see as important. Every vote counts and if you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain about the decisions made. Only an educated voter can truly praise or denounce decisions made by elected officials.
We encourage all of those of voting age to make sure you are registered, learn about the issues and make an informed decision on May 8.