Why seniors should register to vote

Why seniors should register to vote

Matthew Drachman, Assistant Editor

During the 2016 elections, the voter turnout among young voters was poor.  They say that Secretary Hillary Clinton had lost key states because of young voter turnouts.  Another example of where voter turnouts may swing an election one way or another was during the 2000 presidential election George Bush had won Florida by a mer 557 votes.  Think about that number for a moment.


Every single last vote counts.  It doesn’t matter if you are in a swing state or not.  Every vote counts towards the bigger picture. The thing about the electoral college and our republic in general is that anything can happen.  Swing states can change among things. Even as I write this, the election here in the 4th congressional district has not been called. In a state as red as Utah; the race became competitive.


It seems more and more students, who will become voters in the not too distant future, are realizing this.  Seniors and soon-to-be seniors need to sign up to vote if our country is going to keep functioning.


Now, I asked a lot of people around RHS how they felt about voting and how they felt about their vote counting or not.  Many of them agreed that they would register when they become 18.

Kathleen Rice, who is a RHS Senior, had this to say, “I plan to register to vote.  The reason for that is because I feel like my opinion matters.” Another senior, Trinity Sansom (that last name might be spelt wrong), agreed with this sentiment by saying, “I want to have a say.”


I even asked some Juniors how they felt on the matter.  Juniors are an interesting bunch because most of them will be voting for the first time in 2020 (which is a presidential election year).  Jesus Carmona, who is a junior, had this to say, “Everyone needs a voice and voting is the best way to do that.”


Now, an argument can be made that where you live determines whether or not your vote will count.  If you are a republican voting in the state of California, one may say your vote doesn’t count. One might also argue that if you are a Democrat voting in the state of Utah that your vote wouldn’t count.


Although that is a fair argument to make, it is not one that can pass peer review.  At one point, people thought that the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Virginia couldn’t be swung.  However, in 2016, three out of the five states that I just mentioned flipped from their traditional way of voting.


Another example of this is a previously mentioned one; the 4th Congressional District.  We live in a state that is strongly held by Republicans. The state hasn’t voted for a democrat for president since 1964.  As a matter of fact, since its’ founding, Utah has only voted for a democrat for president twice. We haven’t sent a democrat to the senate since 1970.

Even with the house, Mia Love has been a 2 term incumbent.  Yet, Ben McAdams is giving her a run for her money. Even still, the district hasn’t been called at the time of this being written.  Your vote does count.


Even Meredith Coleman (RHS Senior), who identifies as a democrat, stated that her vote, “counts along with other democrats in the state.”


You have to vote to change things.  You have to vote to get people who are unfavorable to you out of office.  You have to vote to change legislation. You must vote, because it’s the right thing to do.  I urge all people who read at Riverton High, or anyone at all who will become 18 soon to register to vote and practice your god given right.  I would also urge anyone who is past the age of 18 to register to vote if they haven’t already.


If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the outcome.  If you do nothing, you can’t say that it should have been different.  If you don’t fight, you can not resist anything that comes after.


To all who read this, I urge you to register to vote when your time comes.  If you do not practice your right to vote, one of which has been paid in full with blood, and participate in the system, I can assure you that someone else will.  However, you may not like the outcome of what may happen.


One thing I can tell you though is  all it would have taken was 558 people to have changed an outcome of an election.