Get off the couch and turn off your iPod, fellow young people, and pay attention. It goes without saying that we are in the midst of a historical turn of events.

The administration of President George W. Bush is finally going to be shown the metaphorical door and it's up to us to choose his successor.

Of course, the Electoral College may throw a bone in that plan (see the 2000 presidential election that started this mess), but I like to think we've all learned our lesson.

We have what could potentially be the first female president in United States Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, or the first African-American president in U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-New York. Oh yeah, there's a Republican running, too, from Arizona.

I've been a registered voter for nearly eight years now and I can say, without hesitation, it's a right of mine that I don't take for granted. People all around the world fight daily for the right to elect their own leaders, and a small country by the name of Kosovo has even declared its independence from Serbia, even with the threat of war and retaliation.

Sadly, though, many people within my age group fail to see the importance of participating in an election and casting a ballot. They see it as their vote only being a single ballot and not mattering much at all.

Add a few thousand of those youthful voices to each city across the nation, and it starts to add up rather quickly. Now, I know older voters can be just as apathetic with their right to vote, but for now, I'm focusing on those in my age group.

With the 2004 presidential election, young people seemed to be on the verge of showing up in record numbers. P. Diddy and other celebrities were on television every five minutes it seemed telling people to "Vote or Die." Stories ran about how involved young people were becoming in politics and seemed poised to make a change.

Then, nothing happened, as usual. My generation seemed to be all talk and very little action. It was an embarrassment to be sure.

Granted, most young people don't find politics all that exciting. All they usually care about is the small stuff - work, friends and family.

This year, though, something has happened. With the country heading towards a possible recession and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan seemingly going on with no end in sight, the American people seem to be hungry to have a voice.

Record numbers are being shown at polling locations for the primary elections that have been held so far across the nation. Even more telling are the record number of young people that have shown up as well.

Maybe it's the fact that history can be made with this election, but it goes far beyond the gender or race of a candidate. If anything, it could go down in history as the moment when young voters decided to join the fight to get our once great nation back on track.

Wouldn't you want to be a part of that?

Tim Olmeda is the news editor for the Nueces County Record Star. Readers may contact him via e-mail at