It was an excellent lesson in American politics. Truly, I had never learned more in such a condensed period of time than I had during that brief, yet incredibly influential conference. And, as I participated in the events of the College Convention 2015, a conference that combined America's best and brightest high school students and college students with presidential candidates, I realized that this conference was what democracy is all about. Democracy is education about current issues and how to become involved with such issues. Democracy is registering to vote and urging other to do the same. Democracy is the glue that holds America together, and, if democracy is to die, the United States will die with it.
However, not all people have been fortunate enough to have the political background and knowledge that I have, and allowed me to attend the Convention. Thus, many do not believe that their vote truly matters in the electoral process. Many no do not believe that the issues politicians decide upon effect them, and therefore turn a blind eye to politics, possessing an attitude that since politics does not affect them, they will not affect politics. Finally, many cite the inconvenience of registering and actually getting to the polls as a reason why they do not vote.
A plan to avoid this growing trend of voter apathy would be four-fold. The most important part of such a plan would be to implement a mandatory civics class at all American high schools, and make successful completion of this class a requirement for graduation. While touching upon the themes present at the national level politics, high school civics classes would focus upon grassroots politics by looking at local elections and issues of interest. In doing so, students would realize that the only elected officials are not the senators or congressmen whom they send to Washington, but also the mayor and city council they send to city hall. In doing so, students would see that even if the issues at a national level seem distant and abstract, those at a local level are more concrete and close to home. In learning about local politics, students will realize how much local politics affect their lives, and, even more importantly, that they can influence local politics by voting for city council and mayoral candidates with whom they agree. This class would also emphasize how to become involved in local politics by teaching students about public forums, petitioning, letter campaigns, and other methods of political influence.
Now possessing a generation of informed voters, the second step in increasing voter turnout would be an automatic registration process. Rather than requiring the often complex and burdensome task of personal registration, all persons aged eighteen years or older would be automatically registered to vote upon their eighteenth birthday, such as is currently practiced in the United Kingdom and Canada. Should a...