Opinion
Voting should be a duty, not a luxury
Old Gold & Black
By
Print Managing Editor
Thursday, September 1, 2016

The 2016 Presidential election has been a main topic of discussion for the past year.

Whether it is Donald Trump’s taxes or Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the election is almost always at the forefront of the news.

At this point in the election, the options for president are leaving people dissatisfied. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton can win over the country.

Many people are saying that this election is forcing voters to choose between the lesser of two evils as opposed to someone who they support and want to see in office — but how is this beneficial or even happening?

If majority of the country is unhappy with this election, there must be a problem.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, just under 219 million people are eligible to vote while only 146 million of those are registered to vote and even fewer voted in the 2012 election.

Only 57.5 percent of Americans voted in 2012, so of course the country cannot rally around one candidate.

A core issue with our electoral system is that too many people are not voting. When just over half of Americans eligible to vote turn out to vote on election day, the majority of the country will not be satisfied with the candidate who wins.

But, the problem stems from even earlier than the general election — not enough people vote in the primaries. Only 28.5 percent of Americans eligible to vote voted in the primaries for this election cycle.

When just over a quarter of eligible Americans vote, the country is leaving the decision to a small minority and has to deal with the results of those few.

The U.S. has an issue that needs to be solved: people need to vote. Not voting cannot be an option. Many are saying  that they will not vote in this election in this election because Trump does not represent the Republican Party and Clinton is too unfit to take the Oval Office. Or, they think that their one vote doesn’t matter, but when millions of people believe that, it makes a difference.

Countries like Australia mandate that every single person votes. Just this past summer they had an election for Prime Minister, and many businesses were shut down in order for people to be able to vote. Those who do not vote receive a penalty. It is the people of Australia’s duty to vote for their Prime Minister and determining who leads their country is important to everyone.

Here, people care who our president is and constantly critique their every move, but many judge and criticize even if they did not vote.

To increase the satisfaction of the American people, voting needs to be viewed as a more important duty.

With the upcoming election this November, the options are limited, but it is important to vote regardless of how this cycle has gone. At the very least people will have the option to pick “the lesser of two