Editorial: We want you … to vote!


Maria Echeverry

Image by Maria Echeverry.

Story by The Baker Orange Editorial Board

On Sept. 26, President Barack Obama made a proclamation declaring Sept. 27, 2016, as National Voter Registration Day.

In a White House press release, President Obama stated, “I call upon all American citizens to observe this day ensuring they are registered to vote.”

It seems like everyone is promoting voter registration, from the POTUS to Doritos and from trending hashtags to celebrity endorsements on TV commercials.

Log onto your favorite social media outlet and there is a good chance a voting registration ad will be at the top of your newsfeed. Facebook, YouTube, Uber, Doritos and Google have joined the push to get citizens to register and participate in the presidential election. Social media channels have taken the opportunity to utilize their wide following and to promote voting.

As an example, in late September Facebook had a direct link to register at the top of user’s newsfeeds, and YouTube’s logo had #Vote IRL next to it. Now, celebrities are taking to social media to spread the hashtag #VoteYourFuture, which is a call to action for millennials to partake in the Trump vs. Clinton election. Large corporations, politicians and celebrities clearly find it important to vote in this upcoming election; however, is it truly worth the time and effort?

Without question, the Baker Orange Editorial Board believes it is worth every second and effort to vote, especially in this particular election. The preliminary voting estimates are extremely low; these numbers suggest that many college students are not voting, and some wouldn’t blame them. When the presidential debate aired it seemed there was an overwhelming chorus of cynicism and turning of backs.

Across campus, students and professors sang out in harmony: “Turn it off,” “We are just choosing the lesser of two evils,” and most commonly, “Is this a joke?”

How did these candidates make it here? If so many people despise these two politicians, why are they our Democratic and Republican choices? The answer is simple: not enough people voted against them.

Your voice matters. You are part of the masses and can be part of the decision. We have the chance to determine the outcome of this nation, specifically who runs it. If college students sit in their dorm rooms on Nov. 8 without having registered, they have no chance of affecting who sits in the oval office for the next four years of their lives. Many college students don’t vote for several reasons: it is inconvenient, they don’t feel informed enough or they don’t have any opinion at all.

We urge you to become informed, to research each candidate’s claims, watch their speeches or talk with a professor, friend or parent.

We will say it again because it is important; your voice matters! Maybe you think that your one vote won’t change anything, but if all college students vote, collectively that can change a lot.

If you don’t vote, then you also can’t complain about the consequences of whatever happens in this election. The power to change this country lies with us, the people. Voting is one of our most important and basic rights as citizens of the United States of America. Don’t waste that privilege.