Vote and not just because Uncle Sam told you to; but before you do, you must be registered.
Our government was founded on democracy, distributing the power to the people. It is part of our responsibility as American citizens to vote for the candidates we feel best support our beliefs.
We at the Echo frankly do not care about your personal political affiliations — as long as you are registered to vote, make an effort to stay informed and go vote. At the end of the day, you have fulfilled your duty as a citizen.
“As a scholar of international politics, I’d remind students that millions of people around the world wish that they could vote,” Nicholas Kerton-Jonson, associate professor of political science and international relations, said. “Voting is a foundation of not just our government but also our way of life, and we have a moral responsibility to engage in the political system.”
Registering to vote might seem daunting and we understand that you may feel overwhelmed. Maybe, you are picturing long lines and miles of legal tape to navigate in order to hold a ballot in your hands. However, the registration process is leaps and bounds easier than getting a new license plate from the DMV or filing your taxes.
Voting is a central right as an American citizen, so the process is designed to be as stress-free as possible. Over time and with the help of the internet registration has become as simple as clicking a link and pulling your driver’s license out of your wallet.
“I never registered to vote, because it seemed too complicated, but when I sat down to register it only took 5 minutes of my time,” Sophomore Bella Anderson said. “I don’t why didn’t register to vote before.”
You may be wondering if you qualify to be able to register to vote, and the answer is more than likely yes. According to the Indiana Government qualifications include: 18 years old, citizen of the United States, resident of Indiana for 30 days, mental competency, currently not imprisoned and have a proper ID. Proper identification includes either a state issued driver's license or the last 4 digits of your social security number.
Here at Taylor there is not an excuse for not being registered to vote. There are several resources available to students to help them with their registration questions, including the entire Political Science Department, registration tables in the La Rita Student Center yearly and the entire student body at your disposal.
Unfortunately, voter turnout has been historically low in the 18 to 24-year-old age demographic and voting registration reflects as such at a low of 45.7%, according to the US Census Bureau.
As Taylor Students we have a chance to make a change, and Junior Mitch Renbarger agrees.
“I believe that everyone should be registering to vote. I don’t care who you’re voting for, but it’s our future so we should be voting. Everyone here will be out of college in 4 years and the presidency still affects us whether we’re here at Taylor or living our lives outside of Taylor.”
The only thing left to do now is get online and register. If you need to register to vote, do so now by visiting http://www.indianavoters.com/.
Important dates to note are...
Last day to register to vote: Oct. 5
General Election: Nov. 3
“Voting matters not only because of your actual chance to decide an election (which may be miniscule at the national level but quite real at the local level), but also because of the messages you send when you vote,” Jacob Miller, assistant professor of political science,said. “Parties and politicians pay attention to who votes, and a vote cast today can send a signal to political decision makers that changes the options you have to choose from next election, or the actions your elected leaders take. Voting makes your opinion count — quite literally!”