Photo credits: Evan Brooks
One of the most important things someone can do as a citizen of any country is vote. By taking the time to make your voice heard, you are participating in the tradition of democracy and ensuring the best individuals are elected to office. To ensure the best individuals out of those running are selected, it is also imperative for you to do the proper research on each of the candidates, so that you select the best person for the job. Overall, each time the opportunity knocks on our doors to vote, we should do the research and vote when the time comes.
A little-known fact is elections happen essentially each and every year, but we focus heavily first on the federal elections, and sometimes on the state elections. While all elections are important, the arguably most important are the local elections. Local elections involve any position from mayor, to council person and even judges within Pennsylvania. Just recently, West Chester elected a new mayor who could have a profound impact on the lives of those living within West Chester.
If anything is gathered from this article, it is that voting is not only important but necessary to ensure those that represent you and impact your lives directly are the best individuals possible. I bring this up because the 2022 midterm elections are well underway. On May 17 of this year, the primary election will take place, and it will be up to you to go to the polls and vote.
In Pennsylvania, if you are registered independent, you may not vote in the primaries as the state has a closed primary system. Should you be registered Republican, you can vote only in the Republican primary, and the same goes if you are registered Democrat, meaning you can only vote in the Democratic primary. Whether the system should change to an open primary, where independents vote in the primary, is up to you, but the important thing is you also vote within the primary elections this May if you can.
Voting in the primary elections each year allows the best candidate from each party to hopefully be selected to run in the general election on Nov. 8, 2022. Often, primary elections are not that well attended in terms of registered voters, not to mention the relatively poor turnout of registered voters in the general elections.
This midterm election, I challenge my age bracket– those from 18 to 25 years of age – to actually vote. As a West Chester University student, should you be above 18, you can vote and should vote when possible. The youngest age bracket of voters could sway entire elections in their favor, that age bracket is one of the largest. The issue though, is that the same age bracket is the least likely to actually exercise their right to vote, leaving the election results up to those that take the time to vote.
With the midterms coming up, the nation is deciding where it would like to start turning toward for the next few years. These elections, although less attended by voters when compared to the national, every four years, presidential elections, are arguably more important, and have a far greater impact on each of our lives.
As a West Chester student, I urge my peers to take the time to do the research on the candidates running in their respective districts, which can be done by utilizing the Pennsylvania voter website linked below. I also urge you to vote in the primaries if you can, and especially vote in the general elections after doing your research.
Every vote matters, especially on the local level, as elections often come down to a few thousand, hundred, and even just a handful of votes. In fact, an individual once ran for a local office, and lost by one vote, after their spouse forgot to go to their polling place and vote. Your vote matters more than you think, so make sure you take the time this coming midterm election to vote. Learn More About PA Elections here: https://www.vote.pa.gov/about-elections/pages/election-calendar.aspx.
Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civic and Professional Leadership EB916132@wcupa.edu.