YOUR VOTE COUNTS

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YOUR VOTE COUNTS

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There is a general bias that young people are uninformed. We are told that we are naive and disrespectful, and that we simply don’t care. Unfortunately, this bias was proven right in 2016 when, according to research by the U.S. Census Bureau, only 41.6 percent of citizens aged 18-29 voted. This number is up 1.1 percent from the 2012 election, but it is still drastically lower than the turnout for voters 65 years and older (70.9 percent) and 45-64 year olds (66.6 percent). This country is our future. Therefore, the University News editorial board believes that it is especially pertinent for millennials to vote.

The 2018 midterm election is one of the most important elections of our lives—or at least, that’s what everyone is saying, right?

Actually, every election is that important. Sure, the presidential election is more glamorous than midterms, but our government is based on a system of checks and balances, which means the people who get elected into the House of Representatives and the Senate have power.

The future of healthcare, the upholding of Roe v. Wade and the redrawing of the U.S. congressional districts can all be swayed based on who gets elected in November. Four hundred and thirty five House seats and 33 Senate seats are up for contention. Therefore, as American citizens, and a younger generation, we need to be well-informed prior to voting because we account for half of the voting population, according to Pew Research Center. We comprise a powerful political force.

The current political environment is, at best, divisive and, at worst, destructive. The single-sided, bias-laden stories of the Democratic and Republican Parties are piercing the media and driving the nation further apart. As a result, it is easy to reject politics altogether. If this is your mindset, you are not a revolutionary.

Every generation has rejected the “system” before, but removing yourself from the equation will not fix anything. It’s clichéd but it’s true: If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

If you feel like no one on the ballot reflects your views, it is probably because you haven’t been voting in the smaller elections. Our two-party system certainly has its flaws, but voting for what you believe in is an effective stepping stone toward making your voice heard.

Midterm elections are Nov. 6, 2018. If you haven’t registered yet, check the deadline for your state. Missouri’s registration deadline already passed, but if you are from out of state, there might still be time. Vote.gov is a resource for checking registration deadlines and election information. If you have a hard time keeping track of the election cycles, sign up to receive TurboVote text, email and mail reminders about registration deadlines and election dates.

Additionally, if you registered in Missouri with your BSC mailing number, remember that your poll site is inside of the BSC. If you are voting out of state, or you simply don’t want to drive home on election day, you can request an absentee ballot and vote by mail. Better yet, check to see if you can early vote when you are home for fall break. The digital age has made voting easier than ever before—you can even get discounted or free rides to the polls with Uber and Lyft—so there is no excuse.

Your vote counts, so don’t forget to cast it.