Bailey Russell

Should Everyone be Automatically Registered to Vote?

Voting was such a hot topic on campus this past fall.

Obviously from the Hillary v. Trump election but I think on a deeper level too.

Voting comes with a certain pride and a feeling of hope of being heard.

I know, I know!

It sounds ridiculous, but think about it.

I go to school at UNC Charlotte.

Currently UNC Charlotte is made up of 17% African-American students, 48% female students, and 41% who are considered low income students.

All are less than the majority on campus and throughout history, these groups have faced some time of oppression when it comes to voting.

It took time and a great amount of push-back to gain suffrage for all of these groups.

So now, for the pressing question: Should Everyone be Automatically Registered to Vote?

In my opinion, everyone should not be automatically registered to vote.

Voting is a guaranteed right for us now, but it was not always guaranteed and therefore should not be taken for granted.

I myself worked for a politician during his re-election and during a presidential election year and was not registered to vote.

Not to mention, I am a political science major.

I kept making excuses for why I was not registered yet.

For a while it worked but eventually I had to come to the reality of the matter.

The whole time I was convinced that I was making the executive decision to not register but really, it was that I clearly was not mature or responsible enough to vote for our leaders.

I am thankful I could not vote at that time, because I would not have made the most informed decision.

Yet, if I were automatically registered then someone as apathetic as I could still be able to cast my vote last-minute and without any thought.

Thankfully, because I was not wholly convinced on the importance of my vote, my laziness prevailed and I did not want to take the time to register.

Finally, I had an epiphany and realized what a difference voting vs not voting would mean personally for me personally.

Getting to register was the validation to myself that I was growing up and it symbolized a commitment to myself and society to become informed and cast a vote that counts.

Voting is our right, but we should have some initiative to receive this.

If those before us worked so tirelessly to gain suffrage then we can take a little time to fill out our personal information to register to exercise this right.

When you work, even just a little bit for it there is this pride in knowing your vote is unique to whatever you believe no matter what authorities or anyone else thinks and you earned it.

How freeing and liberating is that?

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

This is an opinion piece. It is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of RISE NEWS. 

Cover Photo Credit: Joe Crawford/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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