Voting to elect officials who will make policy and steer the direction of communities, states and nations is a right that many people take for granted.

For the past couple of months throughout the city of Orem, lawns, light posts, and street corners have been displaying signs advertising the candidates who are currently campaigning for three available seats on the Orem City Council. Yet, in the Sept. 11 municipal primary election only a meager 6,000 of Orem’s 48,961 registered voters turned out to cast ballots.

The reasons many college age citizens cite for not voting range from, "I don’t really like to vote; it is a waste of time," to "If I don’t vote, then I can complain about whomever wins, but if I do vote and my guy wins, then I can’t complain about him," and just about every thing in between.

This is a sad commentary on our generation. Our country was founded on the right to vote, and after many battles and struggles, every person in America has received that opportunity. Voting is our democratic duty and the only way to promote change and to hold our politicians accountable.

How many of the college population have grown up watching political debates and listened to their parents and their associates talk about political matters, so they could develop an informed opinion, and then go to vote?

Many mothers proudly displayed their "I voted." It seems as if this generation doesn’t take voting as seriously as our forefathers would have dreamed of us. Every person has the ability to change the country we live in. Your voice will only be heard if an effort is made to make your number count.

Voting statistics numbers suggest that we, as the younger voice of this nation, are disinterested and are only slightly likely to hit the polls. In the 2004 presidential election, the age group 18-25 consisted of 13 percent of all registered voters in the state, but these voters only made up 9 percent of the total votes cast. Senior citizens, on the other hand, consist of 31 percent of registered voters, but contributed 35 percent of the total votes cast. Does this mean that our age group simply does not care? Because the truth is, we do care when it really comes down to the issues that directly affect us. Unfortunately, we do not let that passion of caring about issues send us to the polls. If we continue to allow the small percentage of people who care enough to vote to make the decisions for the rest of us, we eliminate ourselves from the democratic process, the very process that makes this country unique.

How often do young adults like to argue about political issues, or write in to newspapers to complain about referendums and candidates, yet when voting time comes around no action is taken.

This is outright hypocritical. There is nothing more lazy than complaining to anyone who will listen. Stop annoying your friends and go vote.

There are only a few obstacles between UVSC students and the vote. Regardless of if there isn’t a voting station here on campus, which really ASUVSC is actively petitioning for, there is still the opportunity to vote conveniently off-campus.

This year the city of Orem, which has a population of 92,212 people, has a budget of over $88 mil. About half of Orem’s citizens are registered to vote but only about one-eighth of those turned out for the primaries. These two figures combined mean that one-sixteenth of Orem’s population are the only citizens who are conscientious enough to participate in the process that will ultimately determine how the $88 mil. budget will be used.

We at the College Times encourage our fellow students to study the issues, get to know the candidates and their platforms, make informed decisions, and vote. Then, proudly display the "I voted" sticker, and become the kind of person who will make a difference in this world. Not just one who complains about everything that is going wrong.

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