EDITORIAL: Go vote, if not for yourself, for others

Graphic by: Cora Hall | Editor in Chief

As student journalists, we believe it is of utmost importance that everyone who able should vote.

It’s more important than ever to make your voice heard, especially as college students. According to the US Census Bureau, only 46.1% of citizens aged 18-29 voted in the 2016 election.

That’s less than half of college-aged Americans. There are over 550,000 college students in Michigan, according to Univstats.com. Imagine the difference we can make in Michigan if all of us voted.

The policies which will be put into place after this election will unquestionably have an impact on many people in our country, minorities in particular. If you don’t think you will be affected, take a look at your friends and loved ones. Do you know any people of color? In the LGBTQ+ community? All of them will be impacted by policies of the next administration.

Even if you’re not affected now, you may be later. The result of this election is going to be influential for years to come.

We are not here to shame you into voting, or tell you who to vote for. But it is our job to educate and inform our students. It is the goal of this election insert to help inform our students on the Presidential candidates, how our election will work and how to vote.

While we understand that it is well within anyone’s right not to vote, we would encourage you to rethink that if that’s your plan.

Everyone in this country could use a little empathy, a trait that seems rare nowadays. Empathy doesn’t just mean being nice, it means seeing a situation from someone else’s perspective and understanding and sharing their feelings.

This trait is one that unites us and it is so important right now. Even if you believe these results won’t affect your life, they will affect someone else’s. Maybe you know that person. Think of those in your life whose rights may be up in the air right now.

Think about your friends of color who are facing systemic racism in this country.

Think about the women in your life who are making 81 cents for every dollar a man earns.

Think about those with illnesses or disabilities who do not have access to the help they need.

Your ability to vote gives you a chance to stand up and raise your voice on these issues and so many others. Vote like your rights are depending on it, because someone’s are.

We are not saying that you should vote uninformed, though. Voting is an opportunity for change. If you vote randomly or listen only to the opinions of other’s, you are giving up your voice. You have your own opinions. Put those thoughts to action.

Voting is simple. It costs you nothing and will take little time out of your busy life. But it means so much more to the most vulnerable people in our country. By voting, you’re telling them you care and you’re willing to stand with them as they fight to get their own voices heard.

Some people will say that their vote is insignificant, but there have been so many cases where one or two votes can sway an entire county, which in turn could sway the entire state.

Michigan gets 16 electoral votes. According to the latest census, Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County, and Kent County are among the 146 counties which make up half of the U.S. population. One vote, one swayed county, can make a difference, especially here.

So don’t wait. Get to the polls and vote early. Make a commitment to better your community and your country today.