Over the past several years, voting has become increasingly important. During the 2020 Presidential Election, Tufts College reported that “52%-55% of voting-eligible young adults, ages 18-29, cast a ballot.” While this election feels as if it happened a decade ago it is important not to let this statistic slip our minds. With more than half of eligible voters registered and showing up to the polls there’s hope that political apathy is a thing of the past. Still, in the 18-29 age group, there remains a sentiment of “my vote doesn’t matter.” While it may be true that a lone vote may not sway a general election, this sentiment remains completely false in small communities, special elections and local politics. Although the next presidential election is two years away- an aforementioned small community election is being held the day of this publication’s release. The election in question: Student Senate Elections.
If someone simply telling you to vote doesn’t persuade you to do so, then I hope that this article might. Here are a few reasons why you should VOTE:
First off, the smaller the voting population, the more influence your single vote has. These elections are about as localized as elections can get. Drew’s student population of around 1,600, according to U.S. News, lends itself to a small-scale election where every student vote matters. Last semester’s first-year senator election was won by a margin of four votes. By “showing up” to the online polls you are helping contribute your vote in a place where it is certain to make an impact.
Secondly, Drew’s campus belongs to you. You should have the privilege to be represented by the candidate that you see fit. The only way to guarantee their success is to vote for them. Vote for someone that holds your values or is approachable, because as a member of student government they are accountable for being your voice. On our small campus your voice matters, so use it to elect someone you support, and hold them accountable for representing your wants and needs. Even if you don’t know a candidate personally, a short bio will be provided.
Lastly, unlike official federal, state and local elections you can vote for Student Senators from your bed. This might not be the place that you choose to cast your virtual ballot from but it does allow for a widely accessible election. Schedule conflicts, official voter registration, personal disability retrains or not knowing the polling location ceases to be an obstacle in these elections. You will be sent an email prompting you to vote, along with a direct link to voting on the Path. If there are any questions, physical election day stations will be set up to assist you! So vote from your dorm room, the EC or a nice comfy booth in commons. Just VOTE!
So tomorrow morning when you get an email prompting you to vote to fill Student Senate seats, vote! Positions up for vote include two sophomore, junior, senior and international senators, along with one commuter senator. You are able to vote for those in your class or demographic. Since two seats are open for each class you will also receive two choices so use them! Good luck to all the candidates and good luck to voters. If this is your first time voting: congrats, and if you want to register to vote in official government elections visit https://vote.gov/ . So vote today, vote the next time you can and vote for the rest of your life. It’s your right but it only truly belongs to you if you utilize it.