Why is it important to vote?

Individuals exercise their right to vote by heading to the polls on Election Day. (AP Photo)

It is quite remarkable the similarities between getting into college and being elected as President. The process is similarly arduous, and only the most able and achieved (in theory) get rewarded.

You spend months preparing essays and applications to apply to college, going to interviews, paying for application fees and the gas that it takes to get to countless college tours, proving your worth on paper and in person (if you have the time and money) in the hopes that you get into the college you want.

If you only take a moment to think, it’s easy to see that what you all once did in applying to this school was not unlike what presidential candidates must do to sway the American public. They speak at events, they raise funds, they rally their respective political parties’ base, and even beforehand some spend a good portion of their lives refining a variety of skills for the very purpose of becoming the President. So, how do we, as students, decide which candidate is the best for our country?

The same way the admissions officers chose us: by reviewingour achievements and our abilities as students.

One College student owned up to doing extensive political research for this election cycle — which happened to be the first time he could vote in a presidential election. Bryan Furman, a 21-year-old international studies major, left no statistic or YouTube interview astray in his unrelenting search for the ideal candidate. “You have to read what each candidate promises to do and compare that to their track record,” he explained, “while matching your own personal beliefs to each candidate.”

Thoroughly researching the contenders up for election can prove useful in making intelligent voting decisions. Of course not every student is as dedicated to enacting his/her own citizenship as Furman is. But, then again, why shouldn’t we be?

Another College student regaled his experience of canvassing in local neighborhoods, a civic activity that goes one step beyond simply voting.

“I think it’s good to be politically who exactly you’re voting for,” said 19-year-old biology major, Jesse Mendillo. Mendillo is also voting for the first time, and after having cast his ballot he made a point to underscore the importance of invoking one’s “basic right to be heard.”

Another student was adamant about voicing his opioion on voting. “I think it’s the duty of being a citizen,” said 20-year-old education and math major, Evan Levy. “It’s the one thing an American should do.”

As it may seem, it really is not much to ask for. Go to your local church or school, send it by mail, and for this cycle it was even as easy clicking a few buttons and sending it off by email.

So, why not? What have you got to lose? Why would you brush off this opportunity to make a change when it only comes around every four years? Why would you disregard this chance to voice your opinion to the same government that controls most other aspects of our life? Beats me.

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