With the responsibilities of classes, work and maintaining a social life, it’s cliche to say it’s difficult for a college student to find the time to manage everything on their plate. But with the devastating coronavirus, economic depression and looming climate crisis, 2020 is the year of all years for students to get out and vote.
Election Day is Nov. 3, a short number of days from publication. We hope that our readers show up to the polls or send in their mail-in ballots so that their voices are heard when it matters most.
The civic duty for each of us to show up to the polls is important in every election cycle, but with everything circulating in this disorienting time we find ourselves in, we must prioritize showing up to the voting site Tuesday — or voting in whatever form 2020 calls for.
No matter your party affiliation or preferred candidate, exercising your right to vote shouldn’t just feel like an obligation, but rather, an opportunity — an opportunity to have your voice heard and an opportunity to play a part in determining our country’s future.
It’s always disheartening to think about the low political efficacy and voter participation for young people, but what may be even more troubling to know is that the biggest voting bloc of all is people who don’t vote. Only 58.1% of the voting-eligible population casted a ballot in 2016, lower than the voter turnout in the previous two presidential elections, according to data from the United States Election Project. And younger voters have historically had low voter turnout, in particular. Fewer than 50% of people aged 18 to 29 — the people who populate Auburn's campus — voted in the 2016 election.
Whether that has more to do with low appeal to younger voters or is more of an indictment of the candidates that our political system produces is a different discussion, but it’s sad to know that so many of the issues that we hold dear to us and advocate for on social media could be radically affected if we were to vote in more substantive numbers.
This year has been probably the most challenging that many of us have seen in our lifetime, so let’s try to put it behind us and kick off the start to a new decade on a high note.
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