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As yet another presidential election quickly approaches, campaigns are in full swing.

The biggest question weighing on minds of the people is whether the incumbents will win reelection or if our country will see a new leader.

“Get out and vote … it’s part of your civic duty,” said every patronizing adult ever.

What they may not realize is that the number of college student voters is on the rise. The young are more engaged in the political world today than ever before.

In a recent study done by the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, reports found that a staggering 40.3% of college students nationwide voted in the 2018 midterm elections.

This number is double the rate of the 2014 members which means that 7.5 million college students cast their ballot in 2018.

But these numbers are still disproportionately low as compared to other age groups, according to the report.

There are still so many voices that are not being heard, but plenty of issues that need to be addressed.

College students are struggling with the growing costs of student debts while wages are stagnating and the economy is essentially leaving them behind.

We should be concerned about the future of our country.

Director of Civic Engagement for Young Invicibles Clarissa Unger thinks this puts college students in a unique place.

“While presidential candidates have clearly started to further emphasize reaching students, they need to double down on that effort to ensure that young voters are not an afterthought, but rather a cornerstone to our country’s future,” Unger said.

We have seen this in action right in our backyard.

When students want something, we go for it. We don’t stand in the shadows and let things happen. We stand our ground and we let our voices be heard.

It should be no different when it comes to voting, especially considering the state of our country over the last few years.

Primary elections have many different dates before the general election. The Democrats and Republicans have different schedules for their parties' primaries.

The Democrats run primary elections from January to June and the Republicans from January to July. Primary results are determined well before the general election in November.

Not only is it a civic duty, but voting should be something that we all care about.

The future is in our hands and if we can come together, we can truly make a difference.

A change might not happen today or tomorrow, but if we shout just a little bit louder, maybe this time we will be heard.

GRACE BARBIC is the News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at mgbarbi@ilstu.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @gracebarbic


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