Well kids, it’s that time again.
Election season is upon us, and we all know what that means: campaign ads, voting irregularities in Florida and widespread voter apathy.
If past midterm elections are any indicator, turnout for the election will hover around 35 percent.
Among college students that figure will most likely be half that.
Why don’t we vote?
Is it disillusionment with a system that caters to the rich or do we just not care?
Of course the reasons differ from person to person and can go beyond these two simplifications, but these are two major reasons why many students don’t vote.
What can I say to those who don’t care?
Not much, I suppose.
I would say to read a newspaper, but most likely those people aren’t reading my column.
However, to those who don’t vote because they are unmotivated by a system they feel is unrepresentative, I say: Of course it is!
You don’t vote, so why would the system represent you?
The problem is that if we don’t vote, politicians will see us as inconsequential.
Politicians are concerned first and foremost with their own re-elections.
Why would a politician, who is trying to garner support, work on issues that affect a group that won’t reward him with it’s vote?
This is why Mayor Street was able to wipe LOVE Park off the skateboarders’ map without batting an eye.
Kids do not vote, they are not even allowed to.
We, as college students, are entitled to this, and that is why more students need to vote.
Prescription drug benefits, Social Security and Medicare are hot topics in Washington because elderly people vote regularly and in larger numbers than other sections of the population.
When was the last time you heard of politicians debating student financial aid or what to do with all the college graduates who find that the only jobs available are pushing buttons in an office for some corporation?
Voting is a source of power.
In the United States, it is the source of power. No matter how much money gets poured into the system, elections still depend on voters making decisions.
Big tobacco can’t buy your vote, no matter how many senators they can buy.
So, what to do?
If you are an out of state student, visit https://www.fec.gov/votregis/vr.htm and fill out the voter registration form and follow the instructions for your state.
If you are a Pennsylvania resident, you are in luck; Temple is sponsoring a voter registration drive.
Pennsylvania voter registration forms are available around campus; the deadline to get the forms in is Sept. 25.
If you are already registered to vote, but will not be able to get home for Election Day, contact your state representative, House member, etc.
Most local representatives will be glad to assist you in obtaining an absentee ballot.
You can also go to your state’s website and search for information about absentee ballots there.
Brian White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org