I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to spend my summer working at TurboVote, reaching out to colleges and universities to form partnerships and make it easier for students across the country to vote. However, because I am a Republican and because of my political beliefs, many people were surprised to hear how I was spending my summer. Like many Americans, they immediately associate the youth vote with the Democratic Party and thus they were not sure why I would spend my time and effort helping more Democrats cast a vote. I found this response frustrating for a number of reasons.

For one thing, it is not actually true that young people always vote Democrat; both Nixon and Reagan won the youth vote, and as recently as 2000 George W. Bush lost the youth vote by a mere two points. But more importantly, making voting easier should not be considered a partisan issue at all.

There are many political issues under debate right now that will affect today’s young people for the rest of their lives: unemployment, Social Security, healthcare, rising tuition costs and student debt, and gay marriage are just a few examples of issues that directly affect the livelihood of young Americans today and will continue to affect them as they grow older. As such, it is crucial that students have all the information they need to cast a vote and make their voices heard on these issues. TurboVote makes this possible by making voting fit the lifestyle of students today. It takes less than two minutes to sign up online and TurboVote provides students with everything they need to register to vote and find out information on every election they are eligible to participate in. They even send him or her the necessary paperwork along with pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes—so that all the student has to do is fill out the forms and drop them in the mail.

As a young Republican, I am proud to be working with an organization that strives to promote democracy by making voting easier for all Americans. Voting is among the most patriotic things a citizen can do, and making the process of voting easier is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue–it’s an American issue.

Advertisements