Letter to the Editor

Voting: A Treasured Right, A Serious Responsibility

Donald MacDiarmid

In any healthy democracy, it is your right as an adult citizen to vote.  In a like manner, it is also your right not to vote.  No matter whether you vote, or for whom you vote, a tricky catch that attends our voting rights is that collectively we get the government that we deserve.  Young people (ages 18-30) tend to be less likely to vote than all other age cohorts. (They also have the longest remaining period of their lives to be impacted by the decisions of elected politicians.)  This youth under-representation tends to be even greater in midterm election years like 2018 than in presidential election years. College and university students, many who are eligible to vote for the very first time, and who may be far away from the locale in which they can vote, have extra hurdles to surmount before they can vote.  At the same time, future leaders in our society are disproportionately drawn from those now pursuing higher education. We need your input.

So, don’t let anyone tell you how to vote.  Go ahead and ask others for their opinions. Be respectful of your fellow students’ beliefs that vary from your own.  Do your own research of the issues. If you need information on getting an absentee ballot or voting in an advance poll, contact a candidate of any party and ask for information and assistance.  Then, exercise your right and step up to your responsibility: Vote!