Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Editorial: Skeptical about voting? You should read this

This election is pretty important, but especially for students. Generation Z makes up 10% of the voting population this cycle, which has a significant impact on final results, according to Pew Research Center

Young people have the greatest stake in the decades ahead of us, but we can only sway those decisions if we show up to vote

If you’re second guessing political participation, we want to change your mind. 

“Well, I don’t want to choose between the lesser of two evils.”

This election determines the president, and there’s a good chance neither was your first choice, but the elections down-ballot are just as, if not more, important than the presidency.

You should still vote!

The Nov. 3, 2020, election determines who runs the sheriff’s office, the state legislature, Michigan’s representatives to the U.S. Congress, court prosecutors in your area, the state Supreme Court justices, statewide ballot initiatives, and your Board of Trustees members.

If that’s not enough, you can always vote third-party. 

“Politics is too toxic; I don’t want to be involved.”

You might not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you. It’s easy to disengage, but this also comes from a point of privilege.  

It’s harder to research and determine who should hold the responsibility of public office. It’s harder to research where changes need to be made, or what needs to stay the same. 

The decisions affect your friends and family. 

But it’s not that hard to vote! In Michigan, you can register, request a ballot and vote at your local city clerk’s office before 8 p.m. on Election Day, or vote in person on Nov. 3. 

“Why would I engage in a system that’s corrupt or doesn’t do anything for me?”

A democracy is only as strong as those who support it. It requires an informed voter base and widespread participation. 

This isn’t just about you. 

While change might not immediately come for you as an individual, it could for others. Decisions from elected officials will affect someone if not you. 

We cannot change the system overnight or before this election, but we can vote for the candidates that seek the systemic change we do.

By abstaining from voting, you are only allowing for the system you deem as corrupt to continue.

“My vote doesn’t matter.”

Your vote does matter! 

Local elections can be determined by few votes and your local government officials often have the most direct, immediate impact on you and your community. Last November, former East Lansing City Council Member Mark Meadows won his seat by two votes

While the presidential race is important, it is essential that we don’t only consider the weight of our vote in the context of the presidential election.

The State News Editorial Board is composed of Editor-in-Chief Evan Jones, Managing Editor SaMya Overall, Campus Desk Editor Karly Graham, City Desk Editor Kaishi Chhabra, Culture Desk Editor Devin Anderson-Torrez, Sports Desk Editor Jayna Bardahl, Copy Chief Mark Ostermeyer, Audience Engagement Editor Sophia Kalakailo, Multimedia Manager Tessa Osborne, Photo Editor Alyte Katilius, Staff Rep. Wendy Guzman and Diversity and Inclusion Rep. Di’Amond Moore.

This editorial is part of our Election 2020 print edition. View the full issue here.

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