The right to vote for young people
The right to vote is specific for democratic regimes, and has roots leading back to ancient Greece.
It is the action by which a person expresses the support or preference for a specific motion, proposal, candidate or selection of candidates during a vote. It can be public or secret. In the European Union (E.U.), you can vote if you are at least 18 years old.
In Romania, that is stated in Chapter II, Article 36 of the Constitution. The right to vote is for all citizens, except those who are “demented or mentally alienated, placed under prohibition, nor the persons condemned, by final court decision, to lose their electoral rights”. The Constitution clearly states the right to vote, but no one forces anybody to do so.
For young people, voting can be and actually is a way to express the wish for change, and also a way to exercise the right to participate. It is the simplest and most accessible way to participate. Unfortunately, election attendance among young people in Romania is lower than among the elder age segment. The main reason is that in general, young people tend to give little importance to politics, thus missing out on their chance to contribute to society and to making their voice heard by electing representatives that share their views and ideas. In Romania, in order to vote, you just need to go to the voting section your area has been allocated, have your I.D. (either identity card, passport, or driver’s license), and place the stamp on the candidate or political party of your choice. You can also cancel your vote by placing the stamp on an empty space. Your preference is secret, and you cannot take photos inside the voting cabin, or inside the voting section. Doing so is considered a crime.
As a conclusion, I would encourage young people to attend every ellection, as, by choosing a candidate that represents your interests, you influence your and your country’s future.
Mihnea Badea, Volunteer at Save the Children Romania