Op-ed

The importance of voting

If you were one of the many, many people who did not vote for Donald Trump, you’ll agree that the presidential election of 2016 felt somewhat like a hurricane. It caused chaos, confusion, fear and destruction and we surely won’t be forgetting about it anytime soon. The hurricane divided us greatly, sending our nation spiraling backwards after all the progress we had seemed to be making in the more recent years.

That being said, there is only one option you have after a hurricane hits.

That option is to rebuild.

According to pbs.org, approximately 58 percent of all able voters showed up at the voters booth on Election Day in 2016. That means 42 percent of people who could have and should have voted, simply did not.

As the halfway point of Trump’s first term approaches, we have the chance to make some major adjustments to our government  and truly get a jump start on this rebuilding process. We have a huge opportunity here.

We. Need. To. Seize. It.

On Nov. 6, 2018, the Midterm elections will be held for federal positions, such as 34 out of the 100 seats in the United States Senate and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

Many are quick to assume that just because it’s not a presidential election it really doesn’t matter, but if anything, this election is equally as significant to us as is electing the Head of State.

The reason this is so important for Democrats is because, up until this point, both the Senate and the House have been controlled by the Republican party. With a Republican also in office, this leaves little to no room for “checking and balancing” any initiatives that the Republican party have on their agenda. There are simply no other perspectives.

Regardless of your party affiliation, if Trump’s presidency has resonated with you and you believe strongly in progressing and moving forward, it would be in your best interest to elect officials who have different ideologies than that of which we are seeing in office now. If we expect to see any sort of difference in our government it is crucial that another party takes control over both the House and the Senate.

Change only comes to those who fight for it. If we learned anything from the 2016 election, it is that sitting back and assuming someone else will get the work done is not an option.

As I said before, it is very important to many people across the nation that the Democrats regain control, so as to set up some roadblocks for the Trump Administration in the House and Senate. However, voting is so much bigger than that.

If you are a United States citizen age 18 or older, you have the amazing right to choose who and what takes place in office. Please utilize it.

Becoming a registered, active voter is the easiest way to make some noise and stand up for the things that are most important to you. As a young person, it becomes so easy to think  of your voice as just a drop in the bucket. During these times, remember that as students, we are the future of America. We are the ones with the true power to make a difference and pave ways for the generations to follow. We truly have the biggest voices of all, and when all our voices come together, we can do some pretty big things.

If you are not a registered voter in Pennsylvania, you have until Oct. 9, 2018 to do so if you wish to participate in this year’s Midterm elections. Students at West Chester University have ample opportunities to register on campus through various student organizations and off campus resources as well, so anyone and everyone should feel encouraged to get active.

Think of it this way: the more our student body gets involved in our country’s decisions, the further we will see our positive influence reach.

To register to vote online, visit:

https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx

Ali Kochik is a first-year student English major. AK908461@wcupa.edu

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