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Make Midterm Voting a Priority

Caitlin Richards

Caitlin Richards

Caitlin Richards, News Editor

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The Nov. 6 Midterm Election is quickly approaching and is expected to be one of the most impactful midterm elections in history.

The midterm will not be deciding a new president, but it will be extremely influential in determining what the president will be able to get passed from his agenda, or what may be blocked, if Democrats are successful in taking over the majority. This election will be very important for possibly reshaping the United States political system as it is now, and for years to come.

“I think being a young voter and a student in college, it’s a really exciting time because you’re figuring all that out and you change your mind and you learn different things and it makes you change your mind again and that’s really good,” said William Peace University political science professor, Dr. Elizabeth Kusko. “That’s the point. That’s the process of becoming your own person and its awesome.”  

“You should be your own person. Don’t let what your parents believe, don’t let what your professors believe, what your friends believe, or your church, or coaches, or whoever it is, influence and dictate what you think.”

People are more outspoken this year than in years past, hoping for a better future, while others do not seemed concerned at all with how things are. With so much divisiveness between parties and differences of opinions, much is on the line at this time. This is one reason why the 2018 midterm election is different from midterms in year’s past. People who vote are either on the far right-leaning side, or far left-leaning side with drastic differences in opinions.

The enthusiasm to vote is higher than in years past for midterm elections. That is partly due to President Donald Trump’s polarizing comments on Twitter and in interviews that have fired up voters and created a deep divide, further to the left or right. While some people are pleased with the changes he has made, others hold an opposite opinion and are wanting to see a drastic change.  

“Everybody should vote, especially college students because, listen, old people vote, parents vote, and then grandparents especially vote. If you want elected officials and politicians to pay attention to your issues, you have to demand their attention,” said Dr. Kusko.

“Old people and parents do that all the time because they actually vote, so politicians are only talking about medicare, social security, retirement, and all that sort of stuff because they know that older Americans actually vote.”

“For the first time this year, in 2018, millennials will make up (if they vote), will make up the largest voting block,” said Dr. Kusko. “More than the baby boomers. Do it! If you just get out and vote and you make them pay attention to you, they will have to address student loan debt, the cost of college, minimum wage, and the job market. But they won’t do that unless you make them, and you make them by voting.”

For better or worse, President Trump has changed policies such as foreign policy, gun control policy, and energy policy. People have recognized there are still issues regarding civil rights, equality, climate change, gun control, and immigration policies which need to be addressed.

Some people vote for candidates based on the political party stance, but it is important to know the candidates and their policies. For voters who approve of President Trump’s policy changes and hope to continue on this path, they must vote Republican, so that Republicans can keep control of the majority in Congress. However, for voters who do not like the changes in the direction our country is heading, they must vote for Democrats on the ballot who could stop the current trends.

“I’m voting,” said WPU senior, Ras Walker. “It’s our civic duty. Many people have helped preserve that privilege, whether it be military action of the past and present, or whether it’s the civil rights movement that helped give everyone an equal voice. To me, if you don’t vote it’s a slap in the face to those people.”

“I wasn’t [going to vote] because I haven’t studied whose on the ballot and I wasn’t exactly sure what these elections are for, but my mom wants me to vote for them so I will,” said WPU junior, Kassie Burton.

People who tend to vote are typically the wealthier citizens of the older generations. There are a wide variety of reasons why nonvoters say they do not vote, such as thinking their vote doesn’t really matter, they do not care for the candidate running, they are not a registered citizen, or they just simply say they are too busy.

“If you want politicians to care about student loan debt and reproductive rights and the drinking age, college students are, I’m sure, interested in more stuff than that, getting a job, the job market, housing prices, if you guys want elected officials to pay attention to you, you have to vote,” said Dr. Kusko.  

Walker stated that the amendments are important to him, especially the voter ID amendment and the income tax deduction amendment.  

“My top three [hot topic issues, in] no particular order, taxes, illegal immigration, and gun rights.”

Since Trump’s presidency, there have been more controversies, some of which have been rallied against by the younger generation, such as the March for Our Lives protest. This is also another reason why this midterm election will be different than in years past. Youth have made their voices heard more and are also wanting to see a change.

“The 19th amendment is extremely important to me, as I wouldn’t have the right to vote without it,” said Burton.

“Gun control needs to be restricted. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be guns, however, there should be better laws to control them and have better background checks and laws to handle them. People who are twelve years old should not have access to a gun.”

“Honestly, I think with immigration people should be able to come freely if background checks are strictly enforced and if we have the means to do so. Splitting up families does no good and makes us as a country stand divided and not United.”

“As with taxes and healthcare, I hope we regulate both of them and that people can get affordable healthcare, however, I do know higher taxes is the cost of that.”

“It is really important for anybody to have their own opinions and beliefs and values because you’re going to go vote,” said Dr. Kusko. “You have to know what you believe in so you know who to vote for.”

“A republican house and senate, at both the federal and state level,” Walker said, would be what he would hope for after the midterm election.  

“Hopefully we can stand United as a country. With every problem that happens we can only come together to overcome it. Not blame others and ignore it,” said Burton.  

“You need to be your own person, have your own voice and own values, and I know it’s hard, but it’s really, really important, because once you know those, then you’re going to know who to vote for and you should absolutely vote,” said Dr. Kusko.

Dr. Kusko is planning on organizing a shuttle to the polls for students from 9am-1pm on Nov. 6 to vote.

Early voting has already begun and goes until Nov. 3. Early voting is important for those who are wanting to vote, but have limited time, need to have an updated voter registration, or for those who have moved.

According to WakeGov, College students may register to vote in the county/state of their home address or in the county/state where they are attending college.

Below is a part of a sample ballot for voters. For more information about voting, visit NCVoter.org, NCSBE.gov, or NCVoterGuide.org.

Sample Ballot of Midterm ElectionNorth Carolina State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement

 

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