Today I covered the mock Presidential Election at East Alton-Wood River High School. It was good to see so many students doing their civic duty.
What I am most impressed with is the Madison County Clerk’s office and how they have really got out there not only to make sure young people registered, but are getting them involved in the process early enough by training them as election judges. You know that when you go to the polls the majority of judges are elderly, not that there is anything wrong with it, but it’s nice to see more young people get involved.
It doesn’t matter what election is going on, today’s youth need to know the importance of casting their vote. In some households there may never be a discussion about politics and learning how to vote is an important part in life. Everyone who is a citizen and 18 years old should be registered.
It bothers me when I meet people who are my age and are not registered to vote. I learned at a young age that if you are not registered and do not vote then you have no right to complain about the democratic process. There will always be people in politics you don’t like — that’s life, but your vote counts. Yes, I could go on about the electoral college, but I won’t.
It’s your voice and if you don’t use it well then you need to shut up. No one wants to listen to someone who doesn’t care enough about what so many fought for the right to do. Does the women’s suffrage and the civil rights matter at all? If they do then you know how important it is to go to the polls.
How important is a single vote? To make the math easy, let’s talk about 100 people being eligible to decide an issue.
1. 100 people are eligible to vote. If all register and vote, then 51 votes decide the election.
2. If only 60 people register to vote (even though 100 people are eligible to register) and all 60 vote, 31 votes win the election.
3. If 60 people register to vote, but only 30 of them (50%) vote then it takes only 16 votes to win the election
As you’ve already guessed, scenario number three is what happens in this country every year – only 16 people out of a possible 100 decide the winner of our elections.
The deadline to register and vote in the General Election is Oct. 7. Visit the Madison County Clerk’s Office to find out more about registering to vote, changing your address, absentee ballot and more.