A Response To Youth Not In The Booth

RACHEL FINKELSTEIN

Earlier this year, I published an article titled “Youth Not In The Booths” to encourage people to vote and reveal how those under the age of eighteen do not have much influence in the polls. I described how in elementary school, my political power was wearing a sticker that read REMEMBER TO VOTE, and how now, ten years later, my power is the equivalent. That article would have only been empty words without a reaction, so in turn, I decided to upgrade from stickers to t-shirts. The Sider Press Club and I sponsored the sale of t-shirts expressing the importance of voting and the youth’s support behind it.

img_1914Both teachers and students purchased shirts and wore them on the day before Election Day. They conveyed the message to go vote and showed their unified support throughout the school. We believe this is a right Americans must use to their advantage because not everyone in this world is fortunate enough to have this right. Also, the significance of selling the shirts in my school demonstrates how we young people do not have influence in the polls, and that it is the responsibility of registered voters to vote.

Although the shirts were a symbol of supporting the right to vote while raising awareness for the cause, was this enough? On a national-scale, of course not. However, within our community, I hope it made an impact – that when someone saw the shirt, it provoked conversation, and he or she became aware of the importance of his or her vote.

Nevertheless, some have criticized the message, and even the shirts themselves, conveying that it is one’s choice to vote (not mandatory), and wearing t-shirts will bring no change to the polls. To respond to those in disagreement, I too believe it is one’s decision on whether to vote or not. However, many potential voters are unaware of the incredible significance of one’s vote, and the message exemplified this idea with a reminder of the youth’s unheard voice. Additionally, small impacts still have the ability to create change. Whether the impact is big or small, I’d like to think that making a difference of any size is worth the while for progress and change in our country.

For the original article: http://siderpress.oceansideschools.org/?p=889

Thank you to the Sider Press for sponsoring the sale, and to all who bought shirts or supported the cause.