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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: Why voting as a student is so important

Makenzie Miller

As redundant and, quite frankly, intimidating, it is to hear that we as the younger generation are responsible for fixing what the older generations in local and federal offices have done, it’s true. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the generations that will come after us to ensure that we have done everything we can to protect our democracy.

Over the last few years, we have seen some extreme political trends ranging from alleged national voting fraud, stolen elections, anti-LGBTQIA+ bills, political violence and so much more. In a country home to over 300 million people, it can be hard to feel like your singular vote matters. Trust me, that is the furthest thing from the truth. When you vote, whether it be a local or presidential election, your vote is your voice. By utilizing your chance to vote, you are standing up for your peers and your community. You are stating what you believe in and sharing your hopes for your country.

Every year, there are varying issues on the election ballot; health care, climate change, LGBTQIA+ and women’s rights and changes in the economy are just some of the many issues we’ve been facing over the last several years. While all of these issues can seem overwhelming and intimidating, especially when you are suddenly responsible for how they are handled, you deal with them every day in your community and how you vote will impact those issues within your community.

The last few years, not only has young voter turnout increased but young voter registration has increased. According to an article written by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, nearly 50% of adults between the ages 18-29 voted in the 2020 presidential election, which is an 11 point increase from the 2016 presidential election (39%). 

Another article by census.gov states that voter turnout for the 2022 congressional election was the second-highest turnout for a non-presidential election since 2000, with 52.2% of the registered population participating. Similarly, registration rates were the highest registration rates for a midterm election since 2000, with 69.1% of the voting-age population registered to vote. 

As a student voter, we have a lot at stake. Our choices will not only impact us but the generations after us. We are not just voting for ourselves; we’re voting for our future and the future of our children and grandchildren. 

Millennials and Gen Z have a responsibility to fight for what we believe in. Voting is one of the most important ways to do that, even beyond federal elections. Your vote has a huge impact on the state and community you live in. 

We impact and predict the future of our nation with our votes, which is why voting as a student is so important. We’re stating what we believe in, what we want and hope for our country, and what we want for the generations that come after us. We’re voting for a right to a brighter future. 

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About the Contributors
Maegan Vincent
Maegan Vincent, Former photographer
Maegan Vincent was a reporter and photographer for The Sunflower.
Makenzie Miller
Makenzie Miller, Illustrator/Designer
Makenzie Miller is an animation major and a first-year illustrator on The Sunflower. She is from Eureka, Kansas, and enjoys not only art but also cartoons, video games, softball, and literally any type of animal. She hopes to one day be a storyboarder/concept artist for an animation company.

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