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As Secretary of State, Reed is in charge of elections and voter information. He has been visiting college campuses all over Washington to encourage student involvement. Reed recognizes that younger people are less likely to vote, and he wants to change that.
Each year, voters from ages 18 to 24 make up less than 40 percent of the voting population in Washington state. Reed thinks it’s important for younger people to vote and get involved in their communities because they are affected more, and changes that happen now will affect them for the rest of their lives.
Reed believes that young voices can be powerful when they are heard. He started out his lecture by asking students why they don’t vote.
“I just don’t care,” one student said.
“I don’t know how,” said another.
Reed seemed used to these types of answers from students, and he attempted to resolve all reasons. He told students why they should care and how to vote. One reason he said they should care is because they shouldn’t let the older generations be making all their decisions for them.
“Would you want your grandmother picking out your clothes?” Reed said as an analogy for letting older generations rule the majority vote.
He also introduced online voters’ registration, and the My Vote website.
Reed also introduced some new information this year. He introduced the plans to translate voting materials into different languages besides English.
In some Washington state counties, voting materials have already been translated into Hispanic and Asian languages. In King County, Spanish and Korean materials are available.
This initiative has sparked debate among Washingtonians. Some people think it’s a noble cause, and others think it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“Don’t we speak English in this country?” one student said during the presentation. The student became frustrated and argued with Reed for some time about why they shouldn’t be translating materials.
Other students seemed to have a variety of opinions on the matter.
“This is just a way to help naturalized citizens understand better what they are voting on,” Lauren Adler, ASPCP President said.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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