Exercise your right to vote this season–or else

Lorrin Johnson, Editor-in-chief

We can all agree that teenagers think a bit differently than our grandparents, correct? While our grandparents may be concerned about retirement, many of us are trying to scrape together the money to attend college. So if we know that as teens we have different priorities than the older population, why do we let politics remain dominated by the elderly?
Less than half of Americans ages 18-28 voted in the last presidential election, while the 65 and over folks accounted for more votes than any other age group. That means that the people who are making decisions for our country are not even within ten years of our age, and that while we may want college to be more affordable, for minimum wage to be increased, and for marijuana to be legalized, the people who are actually controlling what legislature is likely passed are likely concerned with social security and protecting the “sanctity of marriage.”
Our voices matter, but if current voting trends continue, they will never get heard.
Changing these trends starts with registering to vote, which can be done online and takes about four to five minutes*.
Next, we have to exercise our right to vote by first taking part in the Republican primary and the Democratic caucus in Washington State. The primary elections and caucuses are the selection processes used by the Republican and Democratic Parties to determine each party’s nominee for president. Either process can seem intimidating, but ask questions and use your resources to learn about each party’s candidates and how to get involved with the primary process.
After getting informed, head over to Briarwood on March 26 to engage in stimulating democratic discussion as the first Democratic caucus in Washington is held, or head to the polls on May 24 to vote for the candidate you want to represent the Republican Party.
Once each party’s candidate is chosen, registered 18-year-olds will have the opportunity to vote in the 2016 Presidential Election on November 8. We have the power to determine who will be leading our country for the next four years, and that is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
*Register at: http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/myvote/olvr.html