The Voice

First Word: Get your vote on

Taylor Baker, Staff Writer

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Nov. 6 is rapidly approaching. Just slightly more popular than the Superbowl and even more contested, Election Day is the one day a year that we are free to exercise our right to vote.

Every few years, we are given the ability to choose our state representatives, our congressmen, our governors, etc.  These are the elections that determine the quality of our roads and our water. These are the elections that determine the funding for both your child’s public school and your state university.  

If these are the elections that ultimately have the most influence on our daily lives, why does voter turnout plummet on non-presidential years?
The last midterm elections in 2014 saw the lowest percentage of participating voters in the last 70 years. People just don’t seem to realize the impact and influence these midterm elections have our lives; any Russian investigation or Chinese steel tariff pales in comparison.

If you truly want to make a difference, you can’t just vote once every 4 years. By skipping the midterms, you’ll only feel tired and underwhelmed as progress steadily slows.

Donald Trump doesn’t control whether or not your tuition prices go up. Bernie Sanders can’t fix the potholes in front of your house. Not even Barack Obama himself legalized recreational marijuana use.

These are issues for Congress and for the states. These are the issues that you are voting on this Nov. 6.

You are voting on who holds the congressional majorities, state and federal. You are controlling who holds the power of checks and balances against the current executive office. You are determining whether or not believing that body heat causes climate change means you’re intelligent enough to govern Pennsylvania.

You get to decide on whether or not you deserve access to health care and reproductive rights. You get to decide on whether or not your water is going to end up like Flint, Michigan’s. You get to decide on prison sentences, on air quality and on how we fix the opioid epidemic.

Over the course of your life, you will see things in this world that are broken; you will see things that you want to fix. Then, there will be people who say “No, actually we shouldn’t fix this.” That is the core of the beautiful political machine we call our representative democracy.

Every issue you can think of, every value you have, every aspect of your life: they are all political. Everything is now a political issue; people can oppose everything from your religion to your morals to your view on the shape of the earth. By skipping out on these midterm elections, you’re hurting not just yourself but everyone else who cares about the issues which you “support” but won’t actually support.

Refusing to vote is a position that many people take, but don’t immolate your own values under a guise of protest or apathy. You can vote mainstream or third party, but just get out and vote.

Sit down and think about the changes you would like to see and think about the hardships being faced across this country. Research these issues, try and skim through more than just a few paragraphs and figure out an educated, lasting solution. Then go out and vote on Nov 6th, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Taylor is a freshman Political Science major and the President of the BU Democrats.

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First Word: Get your vote on