Technology will increase youth voting in future elections

posted in: Opinion | 0

Attention all students!  Democrats and Republicans, Independents and Libertarians, liberals, conservatives and “Teabaggers” alike, even those who just think that “Rent is Too Damn High,” regardless of your political ideology or affiliation, give yourself a nice pat on the back.
Welcome to the system.
For many students at Pacific, this week’s mid-term national elections were their first opportunity to participate in the glory of democracy by voting.  While much of the media attention focused on mostly eastern states and the bizarrely popular Tea Party movement, leaving Oregon for the most part out of the spotlight, the election still served as a wake-up call to the nation’s youth.
We are the future.  And they know it.
The notorious 18-24 year-old age bracket may not yet be the most desirable target of campaigns and politicians, but at least it is on the radar, perhaps more so now than ever before.  For the longest time, the knock on young voters has been that, to put it bluntly, we do not care and therefore do not vote.  Voting takes time, thoughtful consideration, pen movement and most importantly, usage of the United States Postal System.
Traditionally, at least one of these usually gets in our way, leaving us as one of the most overlooked, and by consequence, underrepresented interest groups in the country.
Hey, at least we try, right?
Yes, while we may be lacking in execution, we certainly make up for it with enthusiasm.  Young people, especially college students are some of the most diverse, opinionated and dissatisfied members of society.  Given that, voting should be right up our alley – yet, it isn’t.
In all fairness, postage stamps are extremely inconvenient to purchase.
But wait, hope is not lost.  Open your window, stick your head outside and take a deep breath.  That smell is not the processed waste by-product of Aramark food, but change on the horizon.  Soon we will be the ones being preached to through the television set and they will have to jockey for our vote.
This change will not come about because of motivation or a cohesive front of young voter determination, but because of the same thing that always drives youth to participate in something they already should be but just haven’t yet:  ease of use.
Brought to you in part by technology.  Technology: Making things easy and quick enough to be worth your time.
It’s not a stretch to assume that voting, like just about everything else, will evolve.  And given that the United States has hardly evolved from its Stone Age system of “write on your piece of paper who you want to win,” it is quite obvious that America’s most important political action is in dire need of a makeover.
It won’t happen overnight, but eventually someone will come up with a way to combine voting with the world’s pinnacle invention: the internet.  There will be a day when voting is just one click away.  It’ll be just like Facebook, but instead of status updates there will be platforms and “likes” will be official votes.  Obviously this needs to be perfected first and secure enough to safeguard against hacking and other insecurities, but for the most part this is not a relatively difficult concept to conceive.
If American Idol can do it, anyone can.


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