HomeOpinionOpinion: Youth vote is golden in Golden State elections

Opinion: Youth vote is golden in Golden State elections

Do you care if California has a death penalty? Do you support the three strike law? What about more school funding?

All of these are issues on the ballot on Nov. 6.

Next Tuesday, most people will be watching the results of the presidential election, but there are other issues at hand that will be determined on the same day.

If Proposition 34 passes, the death penalty in California will be repealed. Proposition 37 mandates that all genetically engineered foods must have a label on them. Proposition 36 prevents someone from being sentenced to life in prison for three minor felonies.

These issues are lost amongst the presidential race, but they are equally as important. These are issues that affect us here at home, regardless of who is the next President.

Whether Obama or Romney wins the election, California will have already repealed or upheld the death penalty. We will have decided whether to increase taxes for our public education, including higher education.

According to California State University officials, if Prop 30 doesn’t pass, there will be a $250 million budget cut to CSU and University of California schools.

CSU schools estimate 20,000 fewer students will be able to attend in the fall of 2013 if this measure does not pass, according to the Huffington Post. UC schools, on the other hand, would most likely raise tuition by 20 percent.

Community colleges aren’t safe either. If Prop 30 fails, they will lose $338 million in budget cuts. So unless you’re planning on going to a private school or out of state, Prop 30 matters to you.

The presidential candidates are busy debating Medicare and Medicaid, foreign policy and the economy because those are the issues of the older generations. These issues on the ballot, however, apply directly to our generation.

There are other issues, of course, that depend upon the President. If Prop 30 fails, and you are interested in finding a student loan, Obama and Romney have different views on those. If you think that private banks should be the ones giving out loans and that for-profit schools are the way to go, Romney is the man for you. If you believe that the federal government should play a role in offering student loans, then Obama is for you.

Either way, there are two distinct paths that can be taken on Nov. 6. Whichever path you prefer, promise to do one thing: pick a path.

The issues of the day aren’t going to be decided by sitting at home and watching the television. You have to vote if you want to have a say.

Our vote is our voice.

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