As the 2016 Presidential Election quickly approaches, many Malden High students will have the opportunity to vote for their candidate of choice.  Although, the majority of these students would be surprised by the amount of United States citizens, including young adults, who do not vote.  

The United States Census Bureau reported that in 2012 only thirty-eight percent of young adults aged eighteen to twenty-four voted.  That thirty-eight percent is acting responsibly as a duty to their country by voting because in order for our government to function the people must vote to be represented.  If people of a specific age, race, or gender do not vote, our system becomes underrepresented.  Many people do not vote because they do not think there is a reason to, but they are wrong; there are endless reasons to why you should vote, especially for those living in a highly populated urban city.  

Malden is affected by most of the issues consuming party debates and the media, including immigration, foreign affairs, and affordable education to name a few.  Malden High School was named the most diverse high school in Massachusetts by The National Center for Educational Statistics in 2013.  Among our youth are students affected by these immigration issues, possibly waiting for their family to migrate or become citizens, and students planning on furthering their education in college, or joining the military impacted by expensive tuition cost and dangerous international wars.

Young adults still have time to find their place on the political spectrum, which is where they can identify with a party based on their ideas and beliefs.  Even though no one is required to identify with a party, following a specific party helps to narrow down and focus on fewer candidates that spark your interest.  Researching party beliefs, and more specifically those of candidates, is a good idea for anyone looking to get involved.  

This election I would advise the youth to pay attention to Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina, all candidates leading the polls.  The next Democratic Primary Debate will air on CNN October 13 at 9pm ET, and upcoming Republican Primary Debate on CNBC Oct. 28, 2015 at 8pm ET.

The youth of America, and even just in Malden, are responsible for representing our generation for the future of this country.  With the right to vote comes along the responsibility of being educated about the candidates and their standpoints in order to make an informed decision when filling out the ballot next November.  Even though the election may seem far away, it is never too early to start paying attention to politics.

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