High school student
Essay themes: Election Day Holiday, access to candidate information
KRISTINA L JONES
NICHOLAS A MYERS
NATHAN A BEIL
MEGAN K DAUBERT
Essay themes: Election Day Holiday; access to candidate information
"Vote!?!" "Why should I vote, it's not going to make a difference anyway." This is a statement often heard from thousands of young people all over the country. I believe that the younger generation of voters are not really aware of how important it is to vote. Each vote counts, although many of the young people do not think so. Some believe that their vote will not change anything because of the large amount of people who do vote. To increase the participation of young voters I think that there needs to be some major changes in the electoral system. Neon or bright colored posters, advertisements, and flyers that demonstrate the importance of voting should be more widely used to attract attention to young voters. Making Election Day a holiday would also help because it would give everyone more time to get out and vote, without them having to worry about getting off work. Another change that might help would be to provide more information on candidates so that voters will have a better idea of who they are voting for. To grasp young voters attention, slogans should be used that will portray voting as 'cool'. Although there are many commercials and advertisements about voting, some people just plain forget to vote. To reduce this problem, reminders should be sent out to all of those young voters. Remember when sending out these reminders to enclose information about why voting is important and that it is a right as a United States citizen. Young politicians would have a great impact on our young adult voters. I believe that if there were more young politicians that many of the youth would start participating in political events. This would bring out some of the ideas and opinions that America's youth have. Another great way to get young people to vote would be to explain the government and politics on their terms. Most young adults have no clue about what is going on in the government or politics because they simply do not understand it. I believe that if we could make learning about the government and politics more interesting, then there would be a lot more of America's youth involved. This is important to me as a young adult because I believe that every vote counts, and it disappoints me when I hear someone say that they did not vote. Voting is a responsibility that each of us should obtain, it will help develop character and individualism. I also think that if more young people would start voting and become more politically involved, that the older adults would start listening to the ideas of our youth. In today's world I think that our youth are looked upon by older adults as 'crazy teens', and they don't realize that young adults may have some pretty clever ideas. In my opinion, I believe that the ideas of our youth are just as important as the ideas of the older adults. This again goes along with my thoughts on young politicians. I also feel that these new and fresh ideas from the younger generations would help to develop a stronger and safer government. This is not only important to me, but also to people who are like me. Most of us younger adults have primarily similar thoughts on this subject. Other young people along with myself feel that there needs to be a dramatic increase in the number of young voters. This would not only change the way the government works, but young voters and young politicians might add some exciting and helpful aspects to politics.
Essay themes: Internet Voting, education
Statistics today show that the amount of participation in politics by young people is dropping every year. There are a few factors that could be contributing to this nation wide problem. The most prominent of the factors is that children and teenagers today do not care about politics. They feel that they have better things to do. It is my opinion that participation in the national elections and other political activities are important because our future depends on the decisions and actions of the young people.
Another major factor that contributes to the lack of participation is that children feel they have better things to be doing than to pay attention to what goes on in the world. Today the younger generation seems to find enjoyment in the Internet, and television. Sadly their interests are also attracted to harmful activities like drinking alcohol, and doing drugs. I feel the way to get the teenagers attention is to go to their level and find out what interests them. Since the Internet is such a popular item now and almost everything is able to be accesses through it, then voting should be available also. Some people are very lazy and do not feel like leaving the comfort of their home to vote. The easiest thing to do would be to bring voting to them. This is one of the ways I feel that children would be involved more. Another way of reforming the system would be to add the subject in the cirrocumuli at every school. Keeping the children informed will make them more interested in things they should care about. Let the children know what is going on in the government with subjects that concern them. Tell them things that will effect them and that they would be willing to do something about. Make everything easy for them to understand so in turn they will understand what they should do about it.
Overall, the best way to get the younger generation involved in politics is to find ways to make them interested. Find what they like to do and make voting tactics conform to their liking. I feel that if the children know more about what they are to vote on, they will be more knowledgeable of how to take care of the problem as well as be more interested in the world's issues. The reason why I think that these solutions will work is because I am a teenager in society as well as any other and it is hard for me to want to be involved in the political system. These suggestions, I feel, are great starts to getting my generation interested because they make me want to know more about politics and many people think alike. I feel that this would be very effective.
Essay themes: Media should cover more issues and less sensationalism,
young people need reliable information
Young people will not vote candidates they do not recognize into offices they do not understand. I believe that we have gone away from discussing the issues; the media spends most of its time attempting to catch candidates off-guard and prying into the candidates' personal lives. Older voters realize that somebody must vote and are trying to do the best they can. However, young people are content to let those who seem to know what they are doing continue to be in the driver's seat. What is needed is social awareness and understanding. The questions I, as a young person, need answered are these: What are ALL the local issues affecting my community? Which candidate stands where on these issues? In state and national elections, I want information on more than the economy and the question of the moment. How can we decide the fate of our country when all we know are the candidates' party affiliations and their stance on health care? More issues should be addressed, instead of asking the same few questions currently in vogue. What are these candidates' plans about teen pregnancy? the suffering of America's poor? education? suicide rates? the homeless? the continuing discrimination against people of color, women, and the elderly? Yes, we need to know about health care and a balanced budget. We want and are glad to receive information about the state of our nation economically--but what about socially? Economic information is plentiful, while social information is spotty at best. The information is out there, just not all in one place. It is the job of the media to report it to me.
I should not have to research medical and out-of-date social journals or interpret complex statistics myself. If some newsgroup pulls it all together and makes it easily available to the public, then voting will increase. Not only that, but it will result in the candidates whom the people really want and need to be elected. This is the basis of our experiment, the basis of our democracy. Inform us and we will vote. Young people have been schooled so well in democracy that we dare not vote; we realize the terrible potential of an uninformed public voting for the candidate with the cleanest image and the most skilled public relations team. Give us the tools and we will take interest; give us the ability to fulfill our function and we will transform society.
Essay themes: Internet voting, on-site registration
The involvement of young people in politics is steadily diminishing as time progresses. Why is it that individuals with the right to vote choose not to utilize their privileges? What can be done about this alarming issue in order to increase political participation by young people? It is to my knowledge that most youths do not believe that their vote can make a difference in the outcome of an election. They feel that they makeup only a small percentage of the population, and therefore cannot have a large impact at the polls. Furthermore, young people are looked upon as irresponsible by society, so some think that their votes might be disregarded. If young adults understood more about the government and its policies, they might be more inclined to get involved. Schools tend to place extreme importance on educating students about the history of the American government, but do not address current politics. Educators should try to incorporate the present state of affairs into the curriculum. How will students ever learn, if not taught? There are numerous youths who simply do not care and are not interested in politics. Maybe they would be if made aware of how the government impacts their daily lives.
Government teachers have the responsibility to instruct their pupils about the influences of the branches of power in this country. Young people need to understand that many everyday activities would not be possible without government intervention. The government of the United States of America was created for the people and by the people, but what good is it if the people ignore its importance and existence? State legislatures should pass a law which states that students must complete a certain amount of service hours in order to graduate from high school, with few exceptions. If teenagers were to get involved in their community, they would be able to witness the problems that occur, rather than just hearing about them on television. After serving a meal to the homeless, a sixteen year-old might wonder, "How can I help those people?" Observing the circumstances of his neighborhood, that young person might become motivated to make some drastic changes. If someone cares enough about a cause, he or she will want to get involved. Youths might begin to get excited about voting and expressing their political views, knowing that they were helping to better the world in the process.
Colleges and universities could require that all individuals eligible to vote, be registered with the Board of Elections, in order for any possibility of admission. Just as car owners are bound by law to have car insurance, young people would have to be registered to vote in order to receive a post-secondary education. That might seem harsh, but it would most likely lead to a substantial increase of young representation at the polls. As it stands now, registered voters must report to designated sites, on particular days, during certain hours to vote in elections. Due to this procedure, a large percentage of people are not able to vote because of inclement weather, lack of transportation, a conflicting work schedule, or otherwise. With today's steady advances in technology, it is not impossible for voting to be accessible on the internet. There would have to be guidelines and restrictions established, but I am almost sure that political participation would increase as a result. Young people already spend countless hours surfing the web. So, why not have them do something worthwhile at the same time?
If there were more people in my age group participating in politics, I would be more motivated to get involved also, knowing that I was not alone. Oftentimes, when we young people attempt to become active in governmental issues, we are looked upon as intruders by older adults. They are not used to seeing us taking part such deeds, so they tend to treat us as if we don't belong. We, in turn feel like outsiders and become discouraged. I would feel more comfortable in such situations, if I were to have some other young people standing alongside me. I believe in the popular quote, "United we stand, divided we fall." Some youths tend to have a negative outlook on life for one reason or another. They seem to think that exceptional future leaders do not exist in our generation. They believe that in several years, the world will have destroyed itself due to all of the wars, crime, and selfishness. If those persons between the ages of 18 and 25 were to start getting involved in political matters, then these types of young people might become more optimistic about their futures, realizing that there actually are some young men and women in this country that still care about things other than themselves. Suicide and deep depression often occur when people feel that there is nothing left to live for, but this effort could possibly change their minds and save their lives.
KRISTINA L JONES
Essay themes: Changing the two party system, fair media coverage
of all candidates, campaign finance, making voting easier: the
The hard-won battle for universal suffrage is the greatest triumph in the intertwined histories of democracy and the United States. Our Founding Fathers, when envisioning the electoral system, never intended for this much democratic participation, and now their ideas are buckling under its weight. The two party system has spawned today's creaking Democratic and Republican platforms, characterized by identical almost identical and ambiguous policies. Entire sets of ideas are thereby completely absent - and voters move away from the polls. But democracy does not have to be defined solely by two parties. Looking to Europe, where voter turnout levels are startlingly higher than in the U.S., third parties are active because of proportional representation. When voting is conducted in this manner, every vote counts - quite different from the U.S. winner-take all mentality, which sways voters away from third parties that would gain no share of the vote.
Another problem faced by third parties, as well as alternative Democratic or Republican candidates, is a lack of funding. A return to FCC rules requiring all candidates a place in televised debates would be a beginning - less money would be needed to gain exposure. Another rule, barring matching government funds for third parties with less than five percent of the vote, prevents new groups from even getting off the ground - we must give these alternative the same support as established parties. In presidential elections, much money is lost in an extended party race, forcing many candidates to drop out before some states even have the chance to vote. Why not have on single national primary day - this would increase the amount of choices for all states, not just New Hampshire and Iowa.
Finally, I propose that electoral procedure and funding changes be decided by the people - not by officials who will slant the rules in favor of their party - through means of initiative and referendum. These measures would change our system to offer more clear-cut choices and excitement in election, which have the potential to increase voter turnout. The television media, consumed with providing sensational, pre-packaged political sound bites rather than issue-oriented reports, is much to blame for political apathy. Continual emphasis is placed on political strategies and candidate personality rather than the important issues. Polls, so often used as a predictor, instead determine the political outcome, as they impress upon people that the contest is already decided. This incessant onslaught of worthless information turns politics into a game to be won or lost, rather than a subject vital to the lives of Americans. Although media coverage is inextricably tied with what the people what (or what the media thinks they want) and First Amendment rights, I offer a few steps that can be taken to increase quality of political information. The government can purchase a small block of network airtime during high viewing times and produce short segments detailing a new government program or allow officials to debate an issue. Another step would be to eliminate the political campaign ad in its current form - a thirty-second spot with sound bites and anonymous voices attacking opponent's views. These ads neither ensure accountability nor give true views on which voters could base their decisions. They also introduce corruption of corporate and special interest soft-money into the political system. Instead, the government could purchase, then give the same amount of free airtime to all candidates who would agree to follow certain high standards.
The voting place itself limits opportunities for our hectic society to vote, especially in the younger generation. Between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, lives are in upheaval due to college, low financial standing, and geographic moves. People are confused about where to vote and where to register. Or, at times, they simply cannot make it to the polling place during its open hours. One alternative to the voting booth is the Internet, almost universally accepted by my generation as their means of communication. E voting would simplify the voting process, and increase participation among those who would like to vote, but are unable for various reasons. Some argue that this method is susceptible to tampering; however, so many other public activities are conducted through the Internet, with hacking being the exception rather than the rule.
But even if these reforms are never adopted, America's youth can no longer passively stand by and let the programs and issues important to them be overlooked. Their cynical defense, that they will not participate because the government will not listen to them, is circular and completely illogical. Government will listen - but only if one votes. The group that best understands this, therefore reaping the most benefits, is the elderly. Why else is so much time devoted to debates about Medicare and Social Security rather than college expenses during elections? Our system does work, but not if one does not utilize it. Every generation must rise to a challenge so eloquently stated by Thoreau: "Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man?" We must go beyond our cynicism, take that step, and claim democracy for ourselves.
Essay themes: U.S. values, showing young people their votes and lives matter What is it that has caused the decrease of young person's participation in politics? The average number of voters under 24 from 1964 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1994 dropped 8% - what is the cause of this? Maybe because young people feel that their participation won't really matter or make a difference. Since the naming of the "Generation X'ers, perhaps they are living up to what people have titled them and have begun not to care. Or does it go deeper? Young people are heavily influenced by what they see adult doing and saying, particularly those who are in leadership positions. Are the things you do in your personal life relevant to your public life? How does it effect you and others? When someone is a representative of us, does their personal life matter? Yes. Because what the rest of the world sees in my representative represents me. It's a sad truth that politicians aren't always thought of with the best regard. Face it, when you think of the word "politician", you think of a den of crooked men squandering our tax money. Of course there are many politicians who are truthful and represent us in a good way, but this stereotyping has come because dishonesty and lying have been abundant in this nation's government.
So here's the scenario: the youth of American see their government leaders (the ones who are supposed to be working to the best of their ability to improve this country) embezzling money, lying, cheating, committing immoral acts...and why do we wonder at the drop in participation? Our government appears as but a game to the youth of America; in their eyes, their participation doesn't mean anything and won't really make a difference. And why do they think their input won't amount to anything? Because they have been taught to believe that their lives are insignificant - no totally by intention, but look at what this country allows! We have legalized abortion, the massacring of innocent life. We have taught as a fact the theory of evolution in our schools, which says we are nothing more than animals who came into existence only by chance - again, we have no value. With only these examples, how can we deny the lack of awe for our lives? And if the youth of America feel their lives don't matter, why should they think their contribution in politics would matter? If we want young people to become involved and feel their votes count, we first have to let them know that their lives count.
If we want reform, then we are going to have to prove to young people first that their lives count, and then that their votes count - one single vote can make a difference. There have been many instances when an issue has passes or not passes by the difference of one vote. For example, deciding that the official language of this country would be English won by only one vote, and Texas becoming part of the Union was wont by only one vote. Young people need to know that with the one vote they each possess, they can make a difference.
Another issue that I believe adds the decline in participation has to do with what is taught in out schools concerning the history of this country. There seem to be a trend lately in which all the wrong and corrupt things that have gone on are magnified in our textbooks and classes. Clearly our country isn't without it's faults; but we have seemed to overlook the good and right things this country stands for, and on what truths this nation was actually based upon when it was conceived. Do the youth realize that this country offered something that no other country had - freedom? Freedom of religion, freedom that a man could buy land and work it with his own hands, freedom that said men were equal. I think if they knew more about these truths, they might be more willing to defend their rights and speak their minds about issues that concern them.
So there you have it. The decline in youth participation, I believe, is caused mainly by outside forces: what young people see leaders doing and then imitation them, what they are taught (or not taught) in school, and the levels of political correctness this country operates at - leaving almost no room for moral correctness. Reform won't happen over night. Any real reform is a long, exhausting process that takes more time and effort then ever anticipated. But if reform is what we want, then we are going to have to start on the local and even family levels - teaching kids when they are young that life, that their lives are valuable. If young people today don't realize the worth of their lives, then I can hardly wonder why they don't participate in politics.
Essay themes: Problems with politicians, educating the public about politics, making voting easier
Over the past few years, political participation has declined in younger generations. Today's young voters do not vote for several reasons; some of them are not informed about the issues of the ballot, unconventional politicians and the process of voting. By changing how politics are today to accommodate today's society, then a larger percentage of younger registered voters will start to vote.
One of the aspects of politics that is killing the appeal to younger voters, I believe, is the politician. Politicians are lying, cheating people; they will say anything as long as you vote for them. When they run for office, they tell the public that they will do this and that, but they contradict themselves when the get into office. Politicians need to stop making empty promises and start to make promises that they can actually keep. They also need to be acknowledgeable as to what is going on in the world. In today's world, there should not be a politician with lack of knowledge in world events. For example, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush was interviewed about what was going on in the world. During this interview, Mr. Bush had a difficult time of answering questions. In fact, he could not even answer half of the questions correctly. He is running for presidency, so why is he not informed on today's issues? The United States does not need a person running the country like Mr. Bush. He simply cannot expect the public to vote for him with his extent of knowledge. What Americans need, in general, are politician's well informed, straightforward and visionaries. Politicians need to come to terms that the public hates to be lied to. If candidates want to be elected, do not lie; tell the public the truth in realistic terms. The more a candidate exaggerates the truth and the less they follow through with the lies, the more the public hates that candidate. The ideas need to be reasonable, and then there will be a larger turnout in the polls.
Another possibility of failure to vote is that people, in general, have a hard time keeping the issues straight on the ballot. This especially affects younger voters since they might not pay attention to the news as much as an older individual. What the problem is that the issues are not getting to public and telling them what they are about. As time nears the election days in November and March of each year, you start to see signs everywhere. Vote for this person; say yes to this issue; vote yes, our children need it; vote no on this issue. Usually if you see a sign with an issue on it, all it says is, "Vote Yes on Issue 4" or whatever the number may happen to be. If the public does not know what issue four is, how are they going to vote on it? They cannot do it. It simply is not possible. What if there was a way to get information to masses of people very fast? Perhaps e-mail would be effective. Majority of people in America has a way to access the Internet, and usually they have an e-mail account. E-mail is becoming the way to talk to friends and relatives around the world. The government, at every level, could send the public information on issues via the Internet. This way more people would have knowledge as to what was on the ballot when the elections came.
Another possible problem pertaining to lack of voting is the act of voting. If you know you are not going to be in your town at the time of voting, then you can pick-up an absentee ballot. A problem rises when you have to leave town unexpectedly. How would you know in advance that you would not be in town that day? If you are one of the younger voters, who knows where you will be, or even you, on any given day. Or for that matter, what if you cannot leave your house due to a prevailing illness? What if you are physically challenged and cannot drive? What about Internet voting to accommodate the hectic lifestyles that Americans live today. This way people can take a couple of minutes out of their busy day and vote. A web-site could be designed so that someone could access it, answer a few personal questions for identification and enter their zip code for their designated district. This way, no matter where in the world someone might be, they could vote.
If these changes were made, then there is a good chance to see voting, in general and in younger people to start raising. The guidelines used during a different era of voting cannot be used for today's voting. It is cause and effect, if ideas change, then the public will look at the system differently.
Political Participation, especially voting by young people, is in drastic decline. While several reasons can be cited for this decrease in participation, our goal should be too concentrate on increasing political activism by young people because they are the ones who will lead in the future. A common suggestion is to lower the voting age so people begin to get accustomed to voting from an early age. However, I believe that lowering the voting age is not the answer. History repeats itself and in this case, it might as well repeat. In the early 1970's, young adults raised a major uproar to lower the voting age to 18. When the 26th Amendment guaranteed this right to 18-year-olds, there was no considerable change in the voter turnout despite the fact that thousands of young adults could vote in the 1972 election. Thus, a lesson should be learnt and voting age should not be lowered with the sole purpose being to increase voter turnout of young people. Another proposal is to provide better ballot access for third parties and independents. While thoughtful and insightful, I do not believe this proposal will work based solely on the fact that young people hardly have enough time to keep up with the two major parties of our times let alone three. Thus, While I do advocate better ballot access for third parties and independents, I do not recommend it for the purposes of increasing voter turnout. Instead, I advocate having Election Day declared a holiday.
Young adults are in school or involved in school-related activities or even working during much of the day. Thus, voting for an election ranks relatively low on their list of priorities. However, if presented with the opportunity and the time to vote, I am quite sure that young adults will vote. Furthermore, the young adults are the only ones who benefit from this change; adults will appreciate it as well. Greater flexibility and access to voting booth should increase voter turnout across the board.
Another method that may be used to increase voting is allowing safe and secure voting via the Internet. In today's technological age, computers and Internet are common tools of communication. Allowing Internet voting will save time and encourage young voters to vote. Having the ability to vote online will not even require a holiday and will reduce computation time drastically. Additionally, young adults are one of the groups that frequently venture on the Internet and thus, would be greatly drawn to this source.
Lastly, I believe that the most effective technique to increase voter turnout is education. Educating the young minds is the key. As long as young adults do not realize the value of their right to vote, they will not exercise it. Learning the difference between a democracy and a monarchy is crucial. Young adults need to realize that people around the world and in history died to have the freedom to vote, the right to be heard in the government. This education will be the way to increasing voting turnout because once the importance of this right is realized, it will be exercised by young adults.
Finally, I believe that the only way voting will increase is if adults set an example for the younger generations. By fulfilling their commitment to vote, adults will be encouraging and teaching young adults to vote. It will be a teaching, a principle instilled in the young minds.
Essay themes: The effect of negative campaigning, increasing political education
There are multiple reasons why people in general do not vote
in presidential elections, such as the negativity of the campaigns
and the public's distrust of politicians. Yet, the primary reason
young people repel politics is because they do not believe their
opinion, or their vote for that matter, influences the outcome
of an election. If I could change the electoral system, candidates
would have positive campaigns. I also believe educating the
young people about the candidates and the issues would bring
a drastic change to the percentage of young people who vote.
The lack of educated voters has also become a problem. The youth of our country give the excuse that they don't understand enough about the issues. Why vote on something you don't understand? If teachers could find a way to incorporate information about the issues and candidates into their curriculum, teenagers might find they do have a say in their future and in their government. Another solution to this problem might the scheduling of more debates. If teenagers knew how candidates felt about things that affect them, logically, there would be a greater response from that population of the country. Many young people believe their opinions and their votes do not make a difference in politics. Yet if students were educated about the issues, avid interest would be created and the desire to vote would become more prominent.
Issues such as these are important to me because I believe our country would benefit from more educated voters. Young people will not only be running the country, but also deciding the lives of future generations. The decisions we make while we are in control will affect those in the future. Therefore it is especially important for young people will show the rest of the country teenagers are mature and ready to take on the responsibilities our future brings.
Essay themes: Increased political education, eliminating negative
campaigning, addressing issues that affect young people
Politics should be covered in much more detail in schools. Most young people basically just come up confused when it comes to politics. I, personally, am currently taking the only government class my school offers and it barely touches on current politics. If schools played a more active role by discussing political issues, following campaigns, and possibly even setting up mock elections, I believe students would be much more prepared to vote when they need to. Another aspect of voting that schools need to emphasize more is the concept of duty. It is our duty as Americans to vote and young people don't understand that today. Why this is, I don't know, perhaps it's the lack of war that unifies a country or amount of things we take for granted today, but I believe that if it doesn't come naturally then it needs to be taught to us in school. Students spend close to 10 years learning the history of United States and the world, many times in repeated courses. I think that young people would be better off with one less history lesson and a much-needed course in politics.
Mud slinging has got to be stopped. It does nothing but complicate things. We students don't have a whole lot of time to research and follow politics because of school and extracurricular activities. Because of this, we don't have time to sort through what's true and what's not about candidates. Students get so disgusted with this that they completely give up and leave politics to the people who can figure them out. The mud slinging is very confusing and completely ridiculous. It doesn't do anything to help get a candidate elected, it only tries to discredit the other candidates. Personally, just the lack of morals it shows makes me sick, and I'm sure other young people feel the same.
Last and most importantly, I believe that politicians running for public office should address issues that relate more to younger people. There are so many issues that directly affect students but are never brought up while campaigning, issues such as teenage pregnancy, teenage parenting, teenage abortion, and especially issues concerning violence in schools as well as in the media. If you want students to vote you've got to make them feel like they're voting on something that has an effect on them. Once politicians are elected these issues are heavily debated and we know what they think, but before they are elected, no one brings them up, so we can express our concerns and opinions. If we knew what views politicians had on these issues we would be more likely to turn out and vote for them. Students have voices and most of us believe that we know our lives and the lives of our friends better than the politicians. For example, my friends and I believe that politicians can't do anything about violence in schools. Either the parents didn't raise their kids right or the kid is just not all there. Things happen and you aren't going to do anything to prevent them; the only thing more laws will do is to penalize the numerous other students. Most students also agree with this philosophy on violence in the media. We are the ones that watch it and listen to it all the time and we don't feel that you should punish us for what a few students do. These issues affect us, but politicians listen to the media and whomever else they feel like when they pass bills concerning the issues. If they would let us know what their opinions are before they are elected, then we would know who to vote for and would feel like it was doing us some good.
As you can see, the involvement of schools in politics, the decrease of negative campaigning, and the addressing of issues that effect students will help to increase voter turnout by young people. These ideas are things that need to be addressed and I feel would help to improve the America political system.
Essay themes: Campaigning aimed at younger voters
There is a widespread concern that the political participation of young people in America is plummeting. Citizens between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five have the lowest number of registered voters and the least political participants. I feel that this is due to the lack of understanding the importance of a young person's right and privilege to vote. Too many young Americans remain inactive in society and are allow their futures to slip away. America is a representative democracy run by the people and for the people. I feel strongly that it is time that we take action in teaching young citizens to prepare themselves for the America they want to live in and increase their awareness of the important benefits of voting.
The key factor in raising the political participation of young people is to attract their interests. It is obvious that America's youth is not fully aware of their interests that are in the hands of the voters. These perspective political activists need to see the issues at hand. Young citizens are old enough to be sent to war and die for their country, they should know that they have a say in the probability of being drafted. By voting for a Presidential candidate who believes in nonviolent peace agreements, a young voter can make a significant impact on their future. Another major issue that concerns young citizens is financial aid for students intending to further their education. Students can increase their opportunity for college aid by voting for candidates who plan to increase government funding for education. With financial status being such a huge concern for young people they can also make a difference for themselves by being aware issues such as tax deduction plans. Two major issues to be aware of during election time that involve the future of young Americans are proposed solutions to Social Security, and affordable health care that provides quality and access. The nations economy and government continue to be developed and the future of young Americans depends on their political awareness and involvement. There are so many voting issues that concern the youth of our nation. It is time that they become aware of the difference that can be made by casting one vote.
The best way to inform young people of these important issues is through education in the classroom, school news stations and popular radio broadcasts. The curriculum in high school government, economic and social issues courses should be revised in order to meet the needs of society and its citizens that are approaching full economic participation. The majority of students that I am familiar with that do not actively vote tribute it to not being familiar with the political issues, stand points or candidates on the ballot. Student should be educated and tested on current events involving political campaigns, government issues and political candidates. Teachers should prepare students for voting by teaching them about the candidates party beliefs, action plans and goals. An effective way to maintain students interests would be to assign homework that involves watching political debates, debating in class, taking field trips to public political speeches and seminars, and writing interest letters to local congress representatives. This would surely increase the number of informed voters and hopefully send them to the polls on voting days.
Registration and voting procedures should be made more convenient for voters to become active participants. High school systems, Universities and teachers can also play an active role in registering citizens of legal voting age who are not yet registered to vote. Social Studies teachers should obtain voting registration forms for students in their classes and return them to the Board of Elections. Voting should be made more accessible to voters through online services and Saturday voting options. Voting procedures made easier for citizens would prove to be more conducive to voter turnout.
Parental influence is an extremely effective and underestimated mechanism to increase political awareness and action of young people. I feel that government officials would be very pleased with the results if they devised a plan to encourage parents to talk with their children about societal interests and voter contribution. This may be done through a nation-wide news broadcast, seminars, political speeches and other experimental forms of influencing political participation. Parental involvement is almost always the most effective start towards adolescent improvement.
This is an accessible and effective action plan to improve the political participation of the American youth. With the world becoming a smaller place and global interdependence, the politicians of the future need to become active and educated of the important issues of our great country at a younger age. The faster we act as a nation, the sooner we shall experience the benefit of its results.