Obama carried the majority of the youth votes during the 2008 general elections in what was considered the largest turnout of youth at the polls in history. An estimated 22 to 24 million youth voted in 2008. ANTHONY BRADY | Scroll Illustration

‘Not Voting’ should never be an option

Obama carried the majority of the youth votes during the 2008 general elections in what was considered the largest turnout of youth at the polls in history. An estimated 22 to 24 million youth voted in 2008. ANTHONY BRADY | Scroll Illustration

With the 2012 presidential election inching closer and closer, as students and young people, our opportunity to change the course of our future is growing.
There are 44 million eligible young voters this election season, according to www.rockthevote.com. As young people, we may forget that we hold a lot of power in those 44 million votes.
According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, the overall general interest in the election is down from what it was four years ago at this point in the campaign, with the most noticeable decline in interest among younger Americans. It is down 65 percent, with just 48 percent of young voters under 30 giving a lot of thought to the election. And only 18 percent say they are following election news closely.
With the economy and jobs being top issues this election season, one would think that more young voters, especially college students, would choose to vote to better ensure their future.
Students from 25 journalism and political programs across the country went out and recorded their peers talking about what issues matter most to them during this election, according to a PBS NewsHour article by Imani M. Cheers. The consensus was that the majority of youth questioned seemed to be most concerned with finding jobs, people coming together to solve issues and making the political system better.
So there are young people who care about their futures. But only 18 percent. What about the other 82 percent?
It is possible to assume that many young people have no interest in the election or in voting, but with America’s government and future hanging in the balance, this should not be an option.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama both plan to stimulate the economy by strengthening the middle class.
“I am running for president to help create a better future,” Romney said during his speech at the Republican National Convention. “A future where everyone who wants a job can find a job, where no senior fears for the security of their retirement, an America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads to a good job and a bright horizon, and unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.”
Romney then explained his five steps to carry out his plan: make America energy independent, give Americans the skills they need, make trade work for America by forging new trade agreements, cut the deficit and champion small business.
According to Obama’s campaign website, he wants to grow the economy from the middle class out, spur states to raise classroom standards and reform student loans, cut oil imports in half by 2020, invest in clean, American-made energy and expand opportunity for Americans through equal pay for equal work.
“And I’m asking you to choose that future. I’m asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country — goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security, and the deficit; a real, achievable plan that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity, and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation,” Obama said during his speech at the Democratic National Convention. “That’s what we can do in the next four years, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.”
The future of our great and free country is in our hands and we have the opportunity to choose which plan we think is best.
We are lucky to have such unalienable rights given to us by our founding fathers. We need to exercise those rights and be true American citizens. Not voting is not an option.

'‘Not Voting’ should never be an option' have 23 comments

  1. September 24, 2012 @ 6:32 pm Russel Choules

    I believe that everyone should vote if there is a candidate worth voting for. Here’s a quote from President Ezra Taft Benson “If you vote for the lesser of two evils you are still voting for evil and you will be judged for it. You should always vote for the best possible candidate, whether they have a chance of winning or not, and then, even if the worst possible candidate wins, the Lord will bless our country more because more people were willing to stand up for what is right.“ I believe that both of the 2 main parties are corrupt, and that the candidates aren’t all that different from each other. I have yet to decide who I will vote for but I’m leaning towards Gary Johnson.


    • April 12, 2016 @ 10:04 pm Karl

      I know this is a long time after, but do you have the reference for this quote? I have been looking for it.



      • April 22, 2016 @ 9:30 am Colorado Rob

        Yeah, the quote is making the rounds as an internet meme. I can’t find the source either. Probably made up internet crap to help conservatives feel better about electing Hilary by refusing to vote for Trump.


        • May 5, 2016 @ 9:10 am NoKings

          I have also been looking for the source of that quote for a long time. I don’t think President Benson actually said it. It’s just a lovely meme that people like to share on Facebook. Can anyone prove otherwise?


        • May 6, 2016 @ 11:27 pm Matt

          I think the point is to not vote for either of them. There are other choices. Good choices.


          • May 7, 2016 @ 9:52 pm Colorado Rob

            Well, that’s the deal – if a right-leaning voter, who usually votes for the Republican, chooses not to vote for Trump, then that voter is in effect helping Hillary. 3rd party votes only help the main candidate on the other side of the fence – the math is pretty simple.

          • May 7, 2016 @ 11:17 pm Trent

            Mark Porter
            November 15, 2013

          • May 7, 2016 @ 11:52 pm Trent

            Quote are words from Mark Porter
            he published in a document November 15, 2013, he is relating some voting experiences he observed and summarizing Benson’s teachings but it is not a direct quote. The words are actually Mark Porter’s but his name is not as catchy so Benson is attributed to the viral quote.

    • May 5, 2016 @ 1:53 pm Stephen E Iverson

      can you please sight the talk where this was given. I am looking for it and cannot find it.
      thank you so much


      • May 5, 2016 @ 8:59 pm Froedbo

        I shudder to think the internet would ever *gasp* tell us something that wasn’t true – but it looks like President Benson never said this.


        • May 6, 2016 @ 4:07 pm Jeff VanD.

          I too am looking for the source… so many are today… lol… maybe he did not say it..


          • May 6, 2016 @ 9:41 pm Eileen

            I haven’t been able to find the Ezra Taft Benson quote, but have found this quote by Hyrum Smith. It doesn’t say exactly the same thing, but I found it helpful.
            Hyrum Smith: We engage in the election the same as in any other principle: you are to vote for good men, and if you do not do this it is a sin: to vote for wicked men, it would be sin. Choose the good and refuse the evil. Men of false principles have preyed upon us like wolves upon helpless lambs. (History of the Church, Vol.6, Ch.15, p. 323.)

      • June 5, 2016 @ 7:43 pm Valeri Gray

        Trent (above), I believe, has the right answer. http://ezrataftbensonsociety.org/docs/Mark-Porter-Ezra-Taft-Benson-Society-Talk.pdf

        “During the next few weeks, I pondered again and again why President
        Benson voted for Bishop Owens, knowing that he could not possibly win . I
        wondered about voting for the lesser of two evils, which I felt I had done on
        occasion in the past. The first impression that came to me was that he
        knew he would be accountable to Christ at the judgment bar and therefor,
        his desire was to vote as Jesus would have him vote.

        President Benson was also following directive given by Christ in the
        D&C 98: 10, “Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for
        diligently, and good men and wise men you should observe to uphold;
        otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.”
        Concerning honest and wise men; Pres. Benson in a talk he gave in
        1975 (Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Council of the Twelve. New Era,
        May 1975, 16. Jesus Christ – Gifts and Expectations) “speaking of the
        Lord’s gift of the Constitution said: “The Lord said, “I established the
        Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised
        up.” (D&C 101:80.) Among the opening words of his dedicatory prayer at
        the Washington Temple, President Kimball referred to our inspired
        “The elders of this church have a prophetic mission yet to perform so far
        as the Constitution is concerned.” and in a discourse by Joseph Smith on
        July 19, 1840, he said:
        “Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and
        tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin,
        this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall
        bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.” (M8d 155,
        Bx4, Joseph Smith, Church Historian’s Library.)…”


    • May 24, 2016 @ 1:38 pm Jared

      Can you document when and where Ezra Taft Benson said this?


  2. September 26, 2012 @ 1:45 pm cdge

    I love the quote Russel choules gives! Thank you.
    I take some issue with this statement by Ms Carlson, “We are lucky to have such unalienable rights given to us by our founding fathers. We need to exercise those rights and be true American citizens. Not voting is not an option.”
    First, unalienable rights were bestowed upon us by God, and the Founding Fathers were inspired to write the document that would best protect those rights.
    Second, Mitt and Obama are all pro-abortion and pro-war in regards to the most basic of those rights, that of life. Mr. Johnson is pro abortion as well.
    We can’t base our decision on what is said in a campaign. We have to take the time to research what these candidates have done.


  3. September 26, 2012 @ 4:56 pm mcrae5

    I think actions must be what we judge by. The last four years has put more people on food stamps than ever before, about 47% of college graduates cannot find employment, and the housing market has not recovered which is vital to American economy. Troops were not pulled out on the promised day costing more American lives, America has done little in regards to becoming energy independent, and the current President is promising a hopeful future when the last four years has been a complete mess. It’s not about choosing the lesser of two evils, it is about getting rid of the silver tongue that is plaguing the White House and putting a man in who has a proven business record and can reinstate the belief in the American dream.


  4. September 26, 2012 @ 5:27 pm Amanda Ostler

    I loved how this article didn’t take sides in the political, but stated the facts as they were. I loved the statistics of how many young people had voted, and how many are now actively participation in the election. I think it’s sad that it’s gone down so much, because this is such a crucial election that, as the author stated, will determine our future, especially as many of us are graduating college and starting careers and families.


  5. September 26, 2012 @ 8:18 pm caseyross

    It’s so true. Everyone should vote. The problem is that many times, as college students we are so narcissistic. In the here and now, voting doesn’t seem important but it will determine the future of our country and our lives.


  6. September 26, 2012 @ 8:41 pm cjgrover

    Well actually, not voting is an option if you want to get technical.


  7. September 26, 2012 @ 8:43 pm cjgrover

    Go Romney!


  8. September 27, 2012 @ 2:16 pm Tony Brady

    I am really surprise on how many youth don’t vote. There are going to be a lot of changes with you is going to be president. I love to see a lot more people voting that haven’t voted before. People need to vote.


  9. September 28, 2012 @ 12:22 pm Russel Choules

    Romney and Obama are both for War, the NDAA, the Patriot act, Bailouts, Federal involvement in education, Torture, and the Federal reserve. They have also both switched back and forth on many issues. I don’t see either as “good, wise, and honest.” I don’t like Gary Johnson’s support for gay marriage and abortion. But other then that he is far and away better than the other two. They should at least let him into the debates.


  10. October 10, 2016 @ 3:49 pm Russ

    It was a hearsay comment from someone claiming to have been with President Benson “one day in his office in the Church Office Building.” Benson never had an office in that building, but in the Church Administration Building. It appears that its first publishing was in a blog post in 2009 written by a Mike Thompson. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/zion-list/jGGZQ5-TEac%5B51-75%5D


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