The Chronicle’s View: Rock the vote-even though it’s not 2008

German was almost our national language-the deciding factor was only one vote.

Election Day is one week away, and just because we aren’t going to be voting for state senators or presidents doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited to participate in the democratic process.

Local politics can have a big impact on your daily life. As such, political races at the local level should be the most closely examined. While national elections are flashier, local politics dictate who will be in charge of local school boards and property taxes.

We need to become educated about local politics and the candidates who will directly affect our lives. We should put as much energy, if not more, into these elections as we do for national ones.

Furthermore, it is important to realize the impact that one voter can have on the outcome of an election. The past two presidential elections have been decided by a very small margin of votes-and the results of local elections are even more dependent on a relatively small number of voters.

The ability of the American people to dictate the shape of their government through the voting process has evolved over a long period of time. We like to think that when the Founding Fathers created our government, they instituted rules of political equality for everyone, but the fact is a small percentage of Americans were able to vote at the time of our nation’s inception.

Had people not fought for their right to have a voice in government throughout the following decades and centuries, the only Americans who would be able to vote in this upcoming election would be white, land-owning males who are older than 21.

Women’s suffragists, civil rights leaders, populists during the Jacksonian era and youth protestors during the Vietnam War made it so the vote was extended to a much greater percentage of the populace.

By not voting, we do all those who fought for universal suffrage a great disservice. We devalue their sacrifices by taking our own rights for granted.

The voting turnout for our demographic is woefully low. Ultimately, that is the reason our generation is ignored by politicians. Since they do not depend upon us for their job security, they can afford to let our legitimate concerns fall by the wayside.

If you want your voice heard and you want your political leaders to take your opinion seriously, you need to make the effort to vote next Tuesday.