A New Voter's Take On Issue 2
As we are in October, coming up to November, and the general election, it is easy to get flooded with all the political advertisements from every candidate running that we miss the important issues that we will also be voting on.
I am here today to address issues with Issue 2, and how it will affect Ohio’s current voting system. Issue 2 is an amendment to Ohio’s state constitution regarding voting requirements, the main part that concerns me, and should also concern you, is the wording, as it would require voters to be 18 years of age at any election. Seems silly, right? seems like it is common sense that you should a full-fledged adult to vote.
Well, yes and no.
Currently, in Ohio, it is possible to be 17 years old and vote in a primary election. This is of course given that you will be turning 18 years of age before the general election. This is an important little loophole, as it serves as a way to introduce high schoolers into the voting process while you can communicate with them en masse at their school. Last year when I was a Senior, the League of Women Voters came to my Highschool and helped make sure everyone had the opportunity and assistance that they needed to register to vote.
By requiring that all voters participating in an election be 18 years of age, we would rob many young adults of their first opportunity to vote in a relatively low-stress environment. This is because while Primary elections are in my opinion one of the most important points of an election cycle, as it is when you vote on who will be representing the party you support, not many older adults participate in this election, preferring to save energy and time for the general election. This means these new voters would have a chance to vote without waiting in the long lines we typically see on election week or feeling pressured by the enormous amount of people voting.
The main purpose of this issue seems to be clarifying voting requirements to cut down on voter fraud. However, voter fraud is not a serious issue here in Ohio, with only about 62 reported potential cases occurring in the past few years, with the Secretary of State reporting only 27 potential cases out of the nearly 6 million people voting in 2020. So I invite you to ask yourself this question before your vote this November, is taking the opportunity to dip their toes into the democratic process from new voters worth a not even guaranteed chance to cut down on an already rarely occurring issue?
I hope that you make the decision that you feel is right on election week.
Lakewood resident William Yeung is a politically minded young adult.
A politically minded young adult.