Eagles march in solidarity ahead of the 2016 primaries. Photo provided by NCCU (Twitter).

OPINION: We must vote in 2024

April 2, 2024

According to Campus Vote Project, between 2012-2016 there was an increase in turnout in youth voters. But in 2020, voting rates decreased, with Gen Z becoming a minority of the electorate according to the campus voter project.

These numbers may get worse. According to Circle Tufts, 16 percent of young voters say they are undecided due to their dissatisfaction with both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

Candidates in the March Primaries leave signs in front of the NCCU School of Law. Photo by Ariyanna McGougan.

To me, Trump is self-centered and made our living conditions harder. He also stoked anger in people, resulting in voters committing violence. A second term for Trump could turn America into a dictatorship. ‘God Bless USA’ is a bible that Trump is selling for $60 dollars including his ideology. It’s clear that he does not care about the well-being of Americans.

However, student engagement in voting is crucial. It provides a platform for students to advocate for policies and candidates that align with their values and priorities, shaping the future they want to see.

Student voting helps cultivate a sense of civic responsibility and encourages lifelong engagement in the democratic process.

These concerns only enhance the current barriers that come with voting.

According to Campus Vote Project Young black voters are more likely than older voters to say they didn’t get off work in time, missed the registration deadline, didn’t receive the ballot in time or are having trouble accessing or finding their polling place, and are more likely to return their absentee ballots just a few days before on election day putting them at risk of not being able to solve issues with their ballot.

According to Campus Vote Project, youth at HBCUs said that during fall semester they were facing more mental and financial struggles that make them less likely to vote unless they receive support and information about the election.

However, there is assistance available for those who are struggling to vote. Recently, Biden’s campaign spent a month touring HBCU’s as part of the “Fight For Our Freedoms College Tour”.

Universities like N.C. Central make voting so accessible with an on-campus polling site and are implementing a new app that just launched called “Vote Owl”.  It’s mission statement:

“Vote Owl is dedicated to increasing voter participation, while also making informed voting easier. We want all Americans to have an opportunity to influence policies that place the U.S. on a path to a better future.”

This app can educate students and reinforce the importance of the policies on the ballot.

According to Circle Tufts young voters are concerned about climate change, gun violence and the cost of living.

I also think that climate change, gun violence and the cost of living are important concerns, and we should vote with candidates’ agenda in mind, not their personality.

Sonise Miles, an English sophomore said that when she returns home, she will vote in the upcoming election.

“I am going to be living in this state, city and I will have to live out these decisions I make now”.

“We have less rights than others did about 30 years ago and they are only going to continue to take away our rights,” said Miles. “We have to live through that, unless we vote for a better situation.”

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Eagles march in solidarity ahead of the 2016 primaries. Photo provided by NCCU (Twitter).
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