An American flag on display

Voting Matters More Than You Think

By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor

Amidst the intensity of the Iowa caucus, a major event of the 2020 primary elections, voters of both the Republican and Democratic parties roll out to gather polling data and registering new voters. It happens just as locally as it does on a national level. In San Marcos, groups like College Democrats and Students for Trump encourage voting tirelessly. No matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, voting does more than checking a box on the ballot. 

A Texan flag on display
Local elections matters just as much as national elections. Image by Tiger Shi.

Members of Generation Z, you may be told by AP Government teachers and political science professors to participate in elections or volunteer in campaigns. The question is: do you actually do it? Not surprisingly, many of you would answer “no.” However, there is a new trend in which voter turnout for Gen Z increased in the midst of the 2016 presidential election and 2018 congressional midterms. This was because there were candidates who emerged with name recognition. 

Many in the younger generation tend to shy away from the polls for a variety of reasons. It could be that they are apolitical, lacking the time to vote or simply do not endorse any of the candidates. Voting is similar to the Pledge of Allegiance; it may not be mandatory to recite it but highly encouraged in respect to what the American flag stands for: freedom. This is not much different from voting in which “We the People” decide our representatives in Washington D.C. 

For example, during the 2016 election, Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine ran on the Democratic ticket against businessman Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence of the Republican nomination. Both sides are controversial on their ends; however, in a voters’ point of view, they have the option to vote third party if they wish. Not voting, in a sense, is permitted, but doing so just felt like not tipping the waiter at an establishment. 

Pins obtained from TXST College Republicans and College Democrats
Republicans and Democrats make up the two-party system. Image by Tiger Shi.

Any contribution helps the candidates. Regardless of what party you affiliate with or candidate you endorse, going to the polls matter a lot. Sitting there and tweeting about it won’t stop a candidate from winning or losing. It really doesn’t hurt to take a few minutes out of your life to check a couple of boxes on the ballot. With the 2020 election approaching fast this year, it’s very important to get registered and vote as soon as possible.

Featured image by Tiger Shi.

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