Voting: An Honor, a Responsibility


Photo Courtesy of Lancaster County, South Carolina

Your vote is your voice. The voter registration deadline to vote in the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 16. Register to vote and make your voice heard.

Zeth DePriest, Activities Editor

When Americans turn 18 they can get a tattoo, open a bank account on their own, and serve on a jury. While one of the most important rights gained in adulthood is the right to vote, a major issue in the United States is low voter turnout.

According to National Public Radio, millennials (18-35 years old) now have voting power over the “baby boomers,” or the generation born in the sixties. Millennials and baby boomers individually make up 39 percent of voters.

However, in the 2012 election, people age 18 to 29 only made up 19 percent of the vote, leaving 20 percent of this demographic absent from the ballot boxes.

Millennials are proven to have growing voting power with each election.

While millennials had the lowest turnout in the  2012 elections, the group is changing their voting habits.

In the 2016 Presidential Election, about half of eligible voters aged 18 to 29 voted.

Unfortunately, this was still about 8 percent lower than the estimated 58 percent youth voter turnout. However, numbers are on the rise according to the Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. They reported that millennials had about 34 million votes in 2016 compared to the 2008 election where millennials only had 18.4 millions votes.

Although millennials are now only shadowed by generation X, voting numbers are still on the rise. This is due to the millennial generation having a higher rate of immigration, causing them to most likely be the only generation whose voting numbers will rise in the coming years.

The only way to improve these numbers is by becoming a registered voter and going to the polls.

Voter registration requirements vary from state to state, but are mostly the same when it comes to requirements. Typically that means that the individual must be a US citizen, be 18 years old, and have had long term residence in their state to vote. In Kansas, voters are required to show a photo ID and proof of citizenship at their polling place.

As of 2016, some states have been allowing online voting to occur. For that a state drivers license is needed, or a states ID card for the state you are voting in, and the last four digits of the social security number. 

Sometimes, one is not able to vote online or in person. For example, if someone is attending Allen Community College but would still like to vote for issues in their hometown/state, they can acquire an absentee ballot.

The deadline to register to vote in the 2018 elections is Oct, 16 2018. To register online visit