Why students should vote

Opinion

October 25, 2022

Growing up, I’ve always heard, “your vote matters because you’re choosing the future of our country.”

But that reasoning meant nothing to me when I learned about the electoral college. Therefore, my perspective shifted from “I can change the world” to “why should I vote when only the electoral college votes matter?”

Design by Frankie Enna

With Missouri’s midterm election just days away, students may realize that they know nothing about voting. After conducting a survey and talking to students, I realized that most Missouri Southern students don’t know who they’re voting for, or what issues they’re voting on. Honestly, some didn’t even realize that there is an election this November. 

Contrary to what I believed, voting really does matter. So while most just participate in presidential elections, it’s really the state and local elections that are significant. 

In 2018, midterm elections saw a record-breaking number of people at the polls in over 100 years, according to pewresearch.org. 68% of those voters said that part of the reason they voted is that they believe that the political party that controls Congress matters. 

This year all states will vote on representatives, 36 states will vote on governors, and 34 states will vote on Senators along with various local office positions. These positions are key to determining solutions regarding schools, police, budgeting, minimum wage, laws, etc. 

The elected officials in midterm elections can decide things such as LGBTQ+ rights, gun safety, climate change and more. These decisions can change your everyday life. For example, with abortion, state officials get the opportunity to decide whether they choose to enact anti-abortion laws, or allow it. 

You should vote this November to support officials that reinforce your beliefs. This is the first step in seeing changes in the community that you care about. Voting also gives you the feeling of civic pride that you can carry with you for years to follow. 

We are privileged as a society to have the opportunity to partake in a democracy. So ultimately, the answer is yes, you should vote. You’ll even get a sticker!

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