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Youth and Government: Your vote matters

by Owen Alford

The notion of the importance of voting is drilled into young adults, but the reasons why you should do so are much less publicized. There are a variety of reasons why it is imperative to vote in any type of election, but we are speaking on the importance of voting here at YAG!

While there are a great number of reasons to vote, it is also important to be informed about this year’s new voting system. To vote, open up the Guidebook app and make sure you are in the NC YMCA Y&G Youth Legislature guide. Then, one should click on the menu icon and scroll until you see the Elections option. Click on this and then head to the 2023-24 Officer Elections. This will take you to a screen that says voting link. YAG members must rank the candidates for certain fields such as governor in the order of how they would vote for them. Once a delegate has access to the form, it is time to vote away.

This leads into our big question: why exactly should we be voting for next year’s YAG officers? One of the most important reasons to vote for your fellow officers is to have dedicated leaders who represent all delegates and help lead this program by example. If everyone votes for who they truly think would best serve and represent our YAG program, this will create a bigger sense of unity and kinship amongst all YAG participants. Voting for a worthy candidate can also help YAG make an impact on the real world. Within an opening general session video, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper preached, “The next legislature, supreme justice, or governor could be sitting in this room today.” While speaking on voting, Governor Cooper later exclaimed, “Participate in this process no matter what you do in your life.” These quotes summarize the importance of voting for YAG officers.

As Youth Governor Noah Weyne said, “The governor serves each of you.” The best way to make this quote a fully realized reality is to actually vote for your very own officers this YAG election. If this happens, Weyne’s wise words will serve true. “I hope you students continue to make your voices heard,” Governor Roy Cooper urged.