Young Adults have been misrepresented in politics as lazy and uninterested year in and year out because people in the 18-24 age range never seem to vote in elections especially the smaller, more local ones.
Many seem to feel that they are just one person, so how would that make a difference? In reality, just having one more vote could be the difference between winning and losing for a candidate, and voting is a privilege that we have in the United States that people in some other countries do not have. Turning 18 in America allows a citizen to finally have a say in what goes on in the government.
Some newly minted citizens aren’t lazy or uninterested; they are simply uninformed. But how does an 18 year old America, or any American for that matter, register to vote?
For starters, in order to vote, one must be registered. Registrations can be done by filling out a form and submitting it online or in the mail. The qualifications to register in Virginia include the following:
You must be
- a citizen by either birth or naturalization
- 18 on or before the date of the election
- a resident in Virginia not claiming residency in another state
You must not have been
- convicted of a felony unless rights have been restored by the governor or other authority.
- judged as mentally incompetent by a circuit court unless rights have been restored
Registering in the state of Virginia to vote must be done 22 days before the election.
Next in the process, many would assume that you get to vote, but there is this unspoken second step and that is to become educated and form an opinion. If you are an educated voter then you are aware of multiple candidates and their positions on issues which will allow you to make a smart choice based on facts and your personal opinion as well.
Many people would believe this is the most important part of the election processes for the voters. This information can be obtained by the voters by watching debates, looking at candidates past, and look at their plan if they take the position of their choice. With all of this information a person can form an opinion to be used election day.
Lastly, it’s the day, election day! This is the simplest part; all a voter has to do is go to their designated precinct or voting location, present a valid form of identification including a Virginia Driver’s License, a US Passport, and Virginia College or University identification card. After this the voter receives their ballot they go to an empty booth when instructed to and mark the candidates they want.
Voting is a tremendous privilege that United States citizens are able to do. So why not take it and give your opinion in government. It is extremely easy and only a few times out of every few year that it occurs so it is not a large time commitment.
To register to vote in Virginia you are able to do it online through https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/Registration/Eligibility and for any more further questions you can also visit http://elections.virginia.gov/index.html .
Photo Courtesy of Dwight Burdette (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:I_Voted_Sticker.JPG)