As the presidential election nears, more and more people are getting involved in the campaign trail, whether simply following it on the news or actively volunteering on a weekly basis. Many of these political activists are of voting age; however, it is essential that students under the voting age get involved as well. Age should not determine whether someone gets a voice; involvement and a desire to get involved should let anyone, no matter how young, has an impact in this year’s election.
<Editor’s Note: blogger Emily Zheng is a sophomore at Arcadia High School.>
Why should you get involved if you can’t vote? First of all, age shouldn’t stop you from learning about what is happening in your community, state, and nation. Being aware of current events and learning about your possibly future elected officials will help you get to know your community better. Working in local campaigns also gives you a chance to meet and learn more about the person who you are supporting. Instead of just seeing a name on ads or on lawn signs, getting involved helps put a face and personality on a candidate that you wouldn’t have known if you didn’t get involved.
Secondly, you can also develop valuable life skills from working on campaigns. For example, precinct walking and phone banking help develop communication skills and knowledge about the campaign. During precinct walks or phone banking, you go door to door or call people in your community to inform others about who you think is the best candidate.
What are some other ways you can get involved? One of the easiest ways is to register a friend, neighbor, or relative! To be registered for the November 6, 2012 General Election, you must register no later than October 22, 2012. You can register online on websites such as gottavote.com, or you can pick up voter registration forms at your local library, post office, or political party headquarters. For example, you can register to vote or pick up voter registration forms at the United Democratic Headquarters on 519 S. Lake Avenue in Pasadena.
Don’t let your age stop you from being involved in your community! Influence others around you to vote for whom you think will best serve as your elected official. Even if you can’t vote, you still have a voice, so start getting involved today!