It should therefore be impressed upon these people that all of the current issues, including global warming and national debt, are influenced by politics and indeed by voters. The voter has the power to change things through a single mark on the ballot. This power is a privilege that has been won by hard work in the history of the country. Perhaps this is the starting point from which educator should work to bring young people into the political scene. Young people spend many of their waking hours at school. This time should be used to educated them not only on the importance of voting, but also on the sacrifices made by their forefathers to bring the current democracy into existence.
Specific solutions could therefore entail implementing programs in schools where prominent politicians are invited to speak to children about politics and how voting makes a difference. These speeches can then be followed by a question and answer sequence where children are allowed to ask questions and make comments regarding the process of voting. Furthermore, individual classes could also focus on politics and how young people specifically may make a difference.
Another good initiative was mentioned by Hillary Clinton. The "Motor Voter" law for example entailed that young people register to vote as soon as they receive their driver's license. This however should be followed up by voter education, so that young people are encouraged to vote and made aware of the benefits of voting.
The Internet is another excellent resource to use for this. Schools are increasingly privileged with Internet connections, and thus young people could at their leisure find informative and interesting web sites in order to educate themselves regarding the voting process and the benefits thereof.
Another important aspect of education is making young people aware of the processes that led to the United States' democracy as it currently exists. They should also be aware that voting for all sectors of society is a hard-earned right that should be exercised by all who have it. Schools can also educate children regarding less privileged countries, where democracy is no more than a dream. Indeed, citizens from countries just emerging into the democratic paradigm stand in line for hours on end to exercise their new voting rights.
The benefits of voting are numerous. Although it is tempting to think that a single vote cannot change anything, couple with all other single votes in the country, it makes a huge difference indeed. If everybody felt that their vote made no difference, the turnouts at elections would be zero, and no democracy would exist. It is therefore in the interest of the country's way of life that everybody exercise their right to vote.
Voting is the most important right exercised by any democratic society. It is therefore vitally important that not only young people, but also their parents and their younger siblings, be aware of exactly how the right to vote can change their lives. This is not only true of presidential elections, but also of other, lesser election events. Senators and mayors for example directly influence the way of life enjoyed by specific communities. Schools and communities should therefore make a concerted effort to educate its public regarding their right to change the world and community in which they live. It is only through voting that we can truly change our community, our lives, and the lives of our children.
Center for Voting and Democracy. Title Voting & democracy report, 1995. Washington, D.C.: Center for Voting and Democracy, 1995.
Clinton, Hillary Rodham. "Talking it Over." The White House. November, 2001. http://clinton4.nara.gov/WH/EOP/First_Lady/html/columns/2000/Tue_Nov_14_185710_2000.html
Hutton, Barbara. Voter education: manual for trainers. Bellville: Project Vote, 1993.
Leidy, Maureen. "Importance of Voting" PageWise.com, 2002. http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/search/detail.php?ResourceID=22
Macbeath, Innis. Votes, virtues and vices: trade union power. London: Associated Business Press, 1979.