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election

Why Registration Is Important

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“Politics aren’t my thing.”

How many times have we heard this said in regards to an election? Should one really choose not to vote because American policies disinterest them? As someone who has never had a strong interest in politics, I still understand that my voice cannot be heard if I do not vote, therefore the first step to being heard is registering.

One of the most basic rights granted to U.S. citizens is the ability to vote, but over fifty million Americans who are eligible aren’t registered. These individuals are typically low-income voters, people of color, and the younger generation. It was found that in 2008, despite the popularity of President Obama’s campaign among young voters and people of color, the voting turnout rate for these individuals, or all eligible voters, was only 64%, compared to the 90% of voters who were registered; essentially this illustrates how vital registration is to the turn out of an election.

“I avoid politics.”

I have heard that claim one too many times as well. You may choose to ignore the policies and decisions being made around you, but politics and democracy are very much a huge part of the nation... it’s what America is founded on. You really can’t avoid it. There are constant decisions being made about the well being of the people, whether we chose to participate or not, it will affect us. Through the participation of being involved, you can help improve the system. As a registered voter, you have the power to make a change.

“It’s too late register.”

Most states allow people to register until 30 days before the election. In essence, this means that one should never have the excuse of not being registered because there is ample opportunity to do so. Although the process can be tedious, once you are registered, you do not have do have to do it again unless you change your residence. If there is one thing that voters should remember, it is that registering is key. Regardless of who you are voting for, voters need to know that their vote or voice cannot matter if they are not registered. 

Written by Lindsey Johnson, MCBS Student