Election day is Tuesday, and the editors of this paper are concerned about the amount of students they have heard expressing noncommittal sentiments regarding voting.
“I don’t think I’m going to vote: I just feel like I’m not informed enough,” one student said in Tutu’s on Tuesday. “I would want to sit down and look at each candidate unbiasedly.”
Our response to this kind of sentiment is curt: if you really would want that, you would do so, and you would vote. Saying that you want to and then saying that you won’t puts you in a position of lying to yourself and others.
A recent New York Times article highlighted research done by the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement, which indicated that “only twelve percent of eligible 18- to 21-year-old college or university students voted” in the 2014 midterm elections.
Those statistics are appalling (or should we say “ap-poll-ing”?), but they don’t have to be predictive. Whether you lean left or right, you have a duty, not just an opportunity, to vote for candidates who best reflect your vision for the county, for the state and for the country.
It is important to remember that the ballot does not just have the governor’s and senator’s races on it: there are important state constitutional amendments and referendums that play a part in the future of your world, too.
The Florida ballot addresses issues like the voting rights of felons, taxes, offshore oil and gas drilling, indoor vaping, the ability of non-citizens to own property, death benefits for first responders and active military members and the structure of the state college system in regards to the state constitution.
No eligible voter has the excuse to say their vote doesn’t matter. The political science department is providing transportation to voting stations. Go vote.