It’s finally here, the week that we’ve been waiting for: election week. On Tuesday Nov. 6, many will hit the voting stations nationwide to materialize their opinion on who should be the next Commander in Chief of our country. In Minnesota, there will be more important local elections, like the proposed Voter ID Law and the right for gay couples to get married. Students will hit the booths, some for the first time and others for the second, to help decide the fate of local and national legislature.
However, according to the Minnesota Daily, only 58% of 18-29 year olds say that they will “definitely vote” this Tuesday, compared to 78% who pledged with the same certainty that they would vote in 2008. Why such a steep decline? One potential reason is that young voters are jaded by Obama not making good on the promises that his last campaign touted as certainly accomplishing during his first four years as President. With the exciting potential of change nose-diving towards mediocrity, the young voters are not as impressed with the platform of either candidate as they were before; now, they have learned to expect disappointment and are not as incensed to vote.
Yet, this election remains just as important, if not more vital, in the formation of the next 30 years of our country than the last election. If elected, either candidate can appoint Supreme Court justices who will remain for decades to come; if Romney is elected, he will most certainly appoint a socially conservative right-winger who will vote in favor of the Republican platform’s proposed issues. For example, Republicans would ban IVF and would make abortion illegal; if a woman wants to have a child via artificial insemination she cannot, but if she gets pregnant and does not want to carry the child to term, she legally has no choice but to have the baby. Women’s reproductive rights, like many other controversial legislative issues (gay marriage for one), would be taken to the Supreme Court eventually and would get voted on depending on their liberal or conservative stance.
Thus, a vote on Tuesday is not just a vote for the next four years; it could be for the majority of our adult lives. Regardless of political party, it is crucial for our generation to care as much, if not more, about social and political issues for this election than they did about the last election. So vote like your life depends on it, because it actually does; you have the power to choose the next 30 years of our country’s progression or regression.