A person has the right to be heard. It is one of the fundamental rights of an American citizen. In this democratic country, our freedom to vote is a prominent right everyone should use. However, a majority of Americans do not. In Oregon specifically, over 800,000 people are not registered to vote. As of February 17th, 2016, Governor Kate Brown signed a bill that will bring at least half of the unregistered voters to the already accumulated 2.2 million Oregon population. Increasing the number of voters only establishes the voice of the American people. Senior Mason Blohm emphasizes the importance of voting.
“That’s how democracy works, we live in the United States and we have the ability to change things,” Blohm said.
House Bill 2177 will automatically register Oregon citizens when they obtain or renew their driver’s license. Citizens will instead have to register to not vote. The new law enforces the right to vote and allows for greater convenience for voters.
With the upcoming 2016 presidential election, voting is becoming more important. Elections can swing by a handful of votes. Unfortunately, the youth vote is the most unstable of them all. According to the New York Times, voters who participated ages 18-24 was at 51%, but by 2012 it was only 38%. The reoccurring problem is youth does not think that their vote is essential.
“The United States youth doesn’t know how important it is to vote and use their vote,” Blohm said.
In the 2012 presidential election there was only a 59% voter turnout and for every six people who voted, they also voted for four other people. All votes are equally imperative to show all government, local and national, what the people want.
With how close the elections are coming, it is imperative that all persons of age who can vote, vote. With House Bill 2177, voting in Oregon is made much easier and convenient for citizens.