By Chelsie Derman
News organizations and social media platforms have been flooded in the last few months with articles about the upcoming election — and for good reason. Now more than ever, Americans must head to polls, send in mail-in ballots and make an effort to participate in the 2020 presidential election.
As a nation, we are clearly not in a good place. According to an article by TIME Magazine, around mid-August President Trump opposed funding the U.S. Postal Service in an alleged attempt to stifle the votes from the swing states that often tie between a Republican and Democrat candidate.
Whether you support President Trump or not, one thing is painfully clear: voting is extremely important. With Trump trying to take advantage through voter suppression to secure a second term, Americans in swing states are put at a disadvantage, forced to risk catching the virus in order to have their voice heard in their vote.
Although most students attending the College don’t live in a swing state, we cannot sit back and watch the turmoil explode on our screens. Votes shouldn’t be suppressed just to benefit one party over another.
If I have to be honest, I’m not the kind of person who regularly attends rallies or spreads my political opinions on social media. But the election isn’t about being “political.” You can be the most un-political person and still vote — still supporting which candidate best fits your personal beliefs and which can potentially make the world a better place.
Look at the United States right now. We are in grave need of help. Covid-19 has gotten out of control, we were in a lockdown for five months and now the virus is hindering people from performing what should be a civil right — to vote.
Politics have always been a little corrupt and elections, especially as of the 2016 election, link with uncertainty. If you kept up to date during the last election, you most likely heard rumors of Russia infiltrating the web and social media to sway votes in Trump’s favor.
According to the New Yorker, Trump tried to reject the idea of Russia playing a role in the 2016 election. He called the Russian interference “‘a hoax’” and a “‘made-up story’” in hopes to deny the spreading rumors. Trump had compared investigating the potential Russia attack to a “witch hunt,” and claimed with a lack of evidence that Russia had no impact on the votes in the 2016 presidential election.
While Democrats claimed the Russians were involved and Republicans claimed they weren’t, it only suggests how much uncertainty exists among the American people in the presidential election.
Recently, there has been speculation that the Russians are also interfering in the 2020 election by using social media to scare people from voting. According to Vox, there is a growing fear that Russians are broadcasting misleading information over the internet to dissuade Americans from voting.
We need to take things in our own hands in order to select the candidate who can be a great leader for our country. We should — must — have a voice. Who do you want to win? Who do you think can save our country from falling apart?
There are other reasons why everyone — in particular, college students — should vote, which has nothing to do with Trump taking advantage of voter suppression nor the suspected Russian influence of last election. In short, very few young people vote.
According to The Best Colleges, in 2016 only 19 percent of people ages 18 to 29 voted in the presidential election. That is an alarmingly low percentage. Over half of those people chose not to vote and are missing out on a chance to make an impact in the world.
While most young voters seemed to have been in favor of Hillary Clinton back in 2016, they did not have enough votes to outweigh the older voters — and therefore the millennials barely had their voices heard. Generation Z cannot make the same mistake.
In terms of policy change and reform in areas that directly impacts college students, young voters must support the candidate that will best help them moving forward; older voters may not be trying to achieve the same needs. Just think: what do you want it to be like in a few years down the line? Thus, you should vote accordingly.
With so much uncertainty regarding presidential elections, we cannot sit by and watch the election happen. Voting gives you small political power, if minuscule. Use your power. Help improve the world.
And when election day hits, you can either live in relief that you already sent your mail-in ballot in or you can go to the polls and vote. Either way, it’s time to take advantage of your right.