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Column: Not Voting Is Lazy, An Abuse Of Power

This story was written by Frannie Boyle, Vanderbilt Hustler

When election season rolls around, it is hard to take everything seriously. When it comes to politics, personality plays a big role, so of course there is a lot to make fun of. Political apathy is another case, and it is one that should never be taken lightly. American citizens have been given the gift of freedom and the gift to decide who will lead our country, and it should be an honor to practice this right.

Beginning with the Revolutionary War, American soldiers have given up their lives in order to bring this nation together and secure our freedom. We have the right to stand in line at the polls and fill out those ballots because of them. There are people and nations all over the world fighting for what we have handed to us every four years. Statistically, most college students do not care that much, and everyone has the choice to play into that apathetic stereotype. Eventually these disinterested students will come to understand the importance of the vote they chose to throw way because of their false sense of entitlement. Political indifference is an abuse of power and an act of sheer laziness.

It is absolutely ridiculous for people to claim the voting process is too complicated. Registering can be done in less than five minutes online, and if that does not work, there are Vanderbilt students all over campus willing to help with the process. Groups at Vanderbilt have made transportation to the polls much easier. They will have buses taking students back and forth all throughout Election Day. If the day is inconvenient, there is always the option of voting early. Voting absentee is even easier: Request a ballot, fill it out and send it back in without having to go anywhere. Voting has never been easier for a college student, so inconvenience simply cannot be an excuse.

Those not voting because they are disillusioned by the current political system need to open their eyes. First of all, this race could possibly be the most important one of our lifetimes. There is a black presidential candidate and a woman vice-presidential candidate. Barack Obama and John McCain arent merely politicians going after the same thing, but there are vital differences in the issues and policies they believe in. The whole world is watching because the next four to eight years will be crucial in defining where our country will go next, and that is why every vote is important. And yes, every vote counts. Any doubters should actually look up how their states electors have represented their voters in the Electoral College in past elections.

Voting is tough; there is no doubt about it. Perhaps the hardest part to the whole process is keeping track of current events and understanding the views of the different candidates. With a campaign that has been so well tracked and monitored, it would be the least we could do to spend a little time understanding what is at stake. The right to vote has been given to us as a gift, and we owe our founding fathers and all of those before us who have put their lives on the line in order to give it to us.

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