If you’ve been seeing those “I voted!” stickers all over your social media, and your friends, you probably already know that yesterday, Tuesday, Nov. 6, was California’s General Election Day. When the polls opened, voters could take a stance on 11 statewide propositions which included issues ranging from the daylight saving system to affordable housing. Also on the ballots were candidates for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, State Senator and State Assemblymember. In San Diego County, people cast their votes on candidates for local government as well. PLNU students shared with The Point what encouraged them to go to the polls this week and why they believe it is important.
In an email interview junior PLNU student studying communication and political science, Lauren Cazares, said, “The age 18-24 vote is the most-untapped vote in the electorate. Our turnout rates are the lowest, even though these decisions will impact us more in the future than they will our elders now. We have so much power and privilege as students.”
Statistics posted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017 reinforce Cazares’ statement, showing that 18 to 29 year olds have the lowest voting rate.
Senior PLNU student studying managerial and organizational communications, Wesley Tran, also encouraged his classmates to vote. He said, “Our status as both students and young people is often looked down upon. Many get the stigma that young people are ignorant and don’t know what they’re voting for.”
Despite this, Tran emphasized the importance of educating yourself on politics in order to use your right to vote. He said, “it’s important for other people to vote because they have the right to. These rights can enact change or maintain the status quo.”
PLNU sophomore nursing major, Mackenzie Carlson, explained why voting is significant to her. She said, “Voting is the language we use to communicate to our government how we want our country to run and look.”
Like her peers, Carlson also addressed the unique situation for younger generations and college students. She said, “Our dual role voting as students and young people living in this current society is to stick up for those who may not have the same educational opportunities as we do, and simultaneously be involved in the struggles our communities may be facing.”
If you aren’t actively involved in the voting process, or aren’t yet registered to vote, you can look up information online and register in minutes. Cazares invited students to get involved in voting. She said, “My rights matter and so do yours and everyone else’s!”.