Why Voting Matters and What Is the Average College Student Age to Vote?

When I was a student, I never voted. Now, as an adult with a formed public opinion, I realize how wrong I was when I was young. Back then, I thought that politics and other “boring, adult” things were too distant from me. I had other things to think about without being preoccupied with the election of the next senator or president. However, this approach is fundamentally wrong. So, why voting matters? The most obvious reason is that every vote cast for a candidate ultimately affects all citizens of the country, including those who have neglected their right to make their voices heard.

Voting Ages of College Students

When can college students start voting?
In the United States, the voting age is 18 years. Yes, by law, people who have celebrated this milestone are already full-fledged adults and can participate in the democratic election process. These are the college student ages to vote. The roots of a historical age-based right lie in the idea that upon reaching the average college student age, American citizens are fully grown and mature enough to have personal views and influence the future of their country.

What is a college vote?
Every high school senior or college freshman can cast their vote in the election, which is considered a “college vote.” The voting age is the same in all states. This equality underscores the democratic principles of the United States, where every citizen’s voice is valued equally, and everyone can use their right to express their will to effect change.

Students Rights that Are Essential for Surviving at Campus

Why Voting Matters, or Why Student Voters Matter

Student turnout in the 2016 elections was less than 52%. In 2020, researchers reported that the national rates of student voting were 66%. This is a fairly high indicator with increasing, positive dynamics. However, I find it simply unacceptable that 34% of prospective college voters did not cast their vote in the 2020 elections.

Why voting matters? Each student who registered and did not vote or did not register at all entrusted others to decide their fate. I don’t want to be dramatic, but that’s what I think. People who come to power do not just sit in offices and give interviews; they make consequential decisions every day. And these decisions affect what America will be like tomorrow. Not only for those who elected these officials but for everyone.

You may ask, “Who should I vote for?” I can’t give the answer; you have to find it yourself. Open your mind to what is happening in your country and do a little research on who is worthy of making the important decisions about your community’s future.

“Why should I vote?” or answers to voting questions for students

If you’re not convinced by my argument for why you, as a young person, have to be a voter, here are more good reasons to vote as a student:

  • Influence on student policy. Does voting matter in American elections? Yes, voting allows students to elect representatives who can influence educational policy, financial aid, and campus initiatives. By participating in elections, learners can choose leaders who prioritize affordable education and student loan reform.
  • Addressing pressing issues. Why vote? By voting, scholars can influence decisions on social justice, climate change, health care, and other critical issues. Only by casting a ballot for a candidate can you choose those who can make a difference.
  • Being part of a collective voice. When young adults reach the college students age and vote, they make the voices of individuals from different nationalities and social backgrounds heard. They promote inclusiveness and representation of every part of the electorate.

Why voting matters? Voting as a student is not only a civic duty but also a powerful tool for change. In this way, young people can influence the policies and leaders who will shape their future.

College Students Voting Rights

Why voting matters? You may think that at 18, it is too early to think about politics and care about global issues. However, I assure you that this is not true. When you enter college, you cross the line between childhood and adulthood. In 2021, the number of enrolled students in the United States reached almost 20 million! Just think about the scale of this number, and you will realize that such a force can bring about change. This is your answer to the question, “Why should everyone vote?” We must use all the resources available.

American college vote: Know your rights to make a difference

  • Teenagers in school have the same voting rights as all other citizens, regardless of their college student age (if they are 18 already), gender, race, or educational status.
  • School attendees can vote in federal elections, including presidential, congressional, and senate, if they are US citizens and meet the age requirement (18 years or older). Every four years, conscientious students vote for president they think is good for their country.
  • Young adults at college can participate in state and local elections for governors, mayors, state legislators, and city council members. They may also cast a ballot on local initiatives and referendums.
  • Can college students vote where they go to school? Yes, groups of voters in college can choose to cast a ballot either in their home state or directly in the state where they are studying if they meet the residency requirements.
  • Undergraduate learners can absolutely participate in voting while at college. If they have difficulties with the expression of will on Election Day, they can request an absentee ballot or use early voting.
  • College student voters with disabilities have the right to accessible voting locations and accommodations. It is their right to demand help from poll workers to share their voices.
  • Youth in a community college can easily access voter registration materials and information, both on-campus and online.
Why voting matters

Gif by Jelly London on Giphy

Why Voting Matters and How to Vote While at College

We’ve come to the most important part. So, if I have convinced you that your vote is important and you are going to participate in the next election, here is what you should do:

  1. Register to vote. Check your voter registration status or register to cast a ballot in the state where you attend college. Many schools offer on-campus voter registration drives to simplify the process.
  2. Determine your voting location. Decide whether you want to vote in your home state or your college state. Ensure you meet the residency requirements of your chosen location.
  3. Research candidates. Analyze the candidates running for various offices, their positions, and the issues they support. Attend candidate forums, read platforms, and stay informed about the trends that matter to you.
  4. Find your polling place. Find out where your polling place is if you are likely to vote in person. This information is often available on your state’s election website.
  5. Check the ID requirements in your state. Some states accept student IDs from accredited community colleges and universities as a valid form of ID to express your will.
  6. Consider early voting (if available). You may take advantage of early voting if your state offers it. This provides flexibility if you have scheduling conflicts on Election Day.
  7. Plan your voting day. Make sure you have enough time to cast your ballot.
  8. Bring all the necessary documents. Get the required identification, voter registration card, and any supporting documents with you when you go to express your will.
  9. Vote and verify. Mark your ballot as suggested and double-check your choices before submitting it. Follow all voting guidelines to avoid any barriers to declaring your decision on the candidate.
  10. Monitor the election results. Keep an eye on voting outcomes to stay tuned.

I hope I answered the question of “Why voting matters” for you. Also, as you can see, there is nothing complicated in expressing your will. All you need is interest and a little perseverance. Be conscious and always vote in elections; it is your voice that can keep democracy working. College student voters matter!

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Michael Carlson
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Michael holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management and works as a Customer Service Supervisor at the proudest Airlines. He’s happy to have been helping people travel for 10 years in a row. And he’s a bigger cat lover than you could ever imagine.