With Election Day now less than a week away, many politicians are making their final push to garner votes in the midterm election.
Here at the IC, we too implore people to vote, though we do so without taking a political stance.
According to the United States Census Bureau, only 46.1 percent of 18 to 29 year olds voted in the 2016 presidential election. This was the lowest out of any of the age groups, though it was a 1.1 percent increase over the 2012 election.
Young people should not have the lowest voter turnout. College students generally fall within this age group and hold the power to change these tendencies.
According to the Washington Post, about 107,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin decided the 2016 presidential election. That’s razor-thin when considering the millions of ballots left blank by the voting populace.
If you didn’t register in time to vote for midterms, register now. You won’t be able to vote next week, but there will always be another election and important issues to vote on.
Make sure you don’t miss out again.
If you are registered, do whatever it takes to make sure there’s a ballot with your name on it.
Early in-person voting has already begun in Ohio and runs through Nov. 5. Check the Ohio Secretary of State website for a full calendar of early voting times.
You can also request an absentee ballot up until noon on Nov. 3 and either mail it in or drop it off if you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day.
Michigan does not offer early voting, but voters can still request absentee ballots up until 2 p.m. on Nov. 3.
Note that Michigan voters who registered by mail must vote in person in their first election unless they pick up absentee ballots in person at the clerk’s office in their precinct. (This does not apply to voters who are 60+, disabled or overseas.)
No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, voting matters; its importance cannot be understated.
Do you want generations older than you to be able to make decisions about policy for you? Chances are, legislation passed by elected representatives will last at least awhile, and the younger generations will be around longer to feel the repercussions of it.
All citizens have a civic duty to uphold and a responsibility to make their voice heard. Our country depends on it.
So, you’ve got days left to read up on candidates, find the ones who align best with your views and cast your ballot. Remember: If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about who wins.
Midterms may not have the same appeal as presidential elections, but who we put into these offices matters. Ohio and Michigan are both voting on governors, attorney generals and U.S. senators, among other offices.
Odds are that these positions will affect your day-to-day lives to a greater degree than the office of the president.
We are lucky enough to have the privilege to choose our elected officials, and it serves us best not to let it go to waste.
Apathy has no place in democracy. Vote.