By Thomas Reilly
The 2016 Presidential Election is starting to really heat up and many Americans have strong opinions toward each candidate. There has never been this much buzz surrounding the election, and that is in large part because of the candidates running. Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and more all find themselves in the headlines every day. The hype and anticipation surrounding the election is good for this country, the more people are involved and engaged the better off the country is. However this has not always been the case in America, and despite the rise in popularity this year, the number of non-voters in America, especially those under 30 years old, is too high.
According to American Progress, of all the non voters in America, 34 percent are under the age of 30. 43 percent of non voters are African-American, Hispanic, or Asian which is double the amount of actual minorities who do go out and vote. The turnout in the 2014 election was the lowest since World War II. Only 36.4 percent of eligible voters cast ballots according to the United States Election Project. Of those who did vote, only 12 percent of them were under 30 years old.
Some reasons why people under 30 do not vote is because they either don’t want to, their parents don’t vote, or because they are not educated enough on the candidates who are running. Perhaps the biggest reason is because people don’t want to get out of their homes and wait on a line for multiple hours to vote. Many Americans believe there vote is meaningless and one person not voting won’t change the outcome of the election.
I have a few ideas that would increase the number of voters around the country, especially people who are under 30 years old. The first idea I have is that voting should be allowed online. Today’s world operates over the internet so why should voting for the president be any different? Allowing people to sign up and vote online will dramatically increase voting numbers. Yes, I understand that the risk of this is somebody will try and hack the system and vote 1,000 times for one candidate, but the government can find a way to make it work, hopefully.
Another way the government can increase the amount of voters is to allow people to register on Election Day. According to Policy Mic, the 18 to 29-year-olds who make it past the registration process actually tend to always vote. If the government allows people to register the same day as the election, there would be no reason for people not to vote.
The third idea I have that would increase the voting numbers would be to allow college students to register and vote at their college. Election Day this year will be on Tuesday November 8th so why not make that day “Voting Day” on all college campuses so students can register and vote. It would generate buzz around the college and make students more educated on the candidates if there is constant discussions involving the election. “If I had the chance to vote on campus, I would,” one anonymous student said.
America was built on the idea that the government works for the people, not the people work for the government. The people have the say and many of them are not taking advantage of that liberty. If more and more young people do not go out and support this country, the government will start to have the say and that is not in this country’s best interest.