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Get out and vote

Jesse Wiles/The Round Table

Jesse Wiles/The Round Table

Election season is finally coming to a close. The primaries are done, the conventions have finished, and the debates are over. The only thing left is voting, which is the most important part of elections, and the part where the least amount of people participate.

Unfortunately, only about 60 percent of eligible voters vote during presidential elections, and under 50 percent of voters ages between 18 and 29 vote. In a normal election, where there are two viable candidates, low voter turnout may be acceptable, but this is not a normal election and there is only one viable candidate.

The polls show Hillary Clinton leading by 7 percent over Donald Trump in this year’s election, which is too close for comfort. Trump has offended nearly every demographic and he has created political strife throughout his campaign. Trump’s polls among millennials show him losing 25 percent to 61 percent, so why is this not reflected in the national polls?

It is incredibly important that everyone gets out to vote in order to prevent a Trump presidency in 2017. He has shown on many occasions that he is unqualified for the presidency through his disrespect towards the constitution, as well as his absence of political experience.If Trump is elected it will be because of low voter turnout on Nov. 8.

Many eligible voters feel that their vote does not matter and that their voices are not heard through voting, but this absolutely not true. Every vote matters, especially in states that have a history of voting for candidates from both parties. Also, while the presidential election is important, there are other things that are voted on by Nov. 8.

It is possible that the senate could switch from Republican to Democrat this year, a possibility that has received very little media coverage. By voting for senators, citizens can actually affect legislation that is promoted by the House and Senate. Also, there are several state and county measures and positions that need to be voted on that have a more direct effect on the lives of the voter.

Inconvenient polling locations, disability or illness, ID voter laws, as well as issue with registration and transportation are all valid problems that keep eligible voters from casting their ballots, but being “too busy to vote” is not one of them. Plenty of Americans are unable to cast their ballots, and it is disrespectful to these people to throw away your own vote. Many of the demographics that are prevented from voting will be the people most affected by a Trump presidency.

It is every citizen’s constitutional duty to vote not just this year, but every year, even in midterm elections. In 2014 we had the lowest voter turnout since World War II. Only 36.4 percent of the eligible voters showed up to vote, presumably because it was not the presidential election. Every vote matters, and voting for other government positions is important.

As college students and millennials, we have some of the most powerful voices in the election. Many people feel that it is already to late too get ready to vote, but it is important to know that you can always register to vote at the polls. Though it may be too late to register to vote absentee in your home state, you can still register in Wisconsin.

Saying that your vote doesn’t matter is an easy way out. By not voting you can remove yourself from the situation and not take responsibility for who is elected. However, by not voting you are allowing Trump to win, and you are allowing him to be more powerful than you.

Your vote is your voice in this democracy, and if you do not at least try to use it, you have no right to complain about a presidency you perceive as unfavorable or a House and Senate controlled by a party you disagree with. On Jan. 20, we will see the results of this vote. We have to do our part and show up. It is very important that we all cast our ballots by Nov. 8.

 

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