Editorial: To vote or not to vote

by Olivia Anderson, Special to The Simpsonian

If you are eligible to vote in the local, state and federal elections this November and you will vote, give yourself a pat on the back. If you are eligible and not planning to vote, I challenge you to continue reading.

I’ve heard plenty of excuses as to why my peers will not vote this November. Some say their vote doesn’t matter or they don’t know enough information to vote. So, their vote is an empty vote.

Others say they don’t completely agree with one candidate or the overall political system.

Consequently, their vote validates someone or something in direct conflict with their ideals.

To these objections I refer back to the murders of Andrew Goodman, 20, James Chaney, 21, and Schwerner, 20, by the Ku Klux Klan. These young men went to Mississippi to register voters, primarily unregistered black voters, as part of the Freedom Summer of 1964.

After the abolishment of slavery, a significant number of black Americans still faced unique barriers to exercise their right to vote. Yet the power associated with registering voters proved to be enough of a threat to the KKK to result in the murders of innocent college-aged Americans.

Listen, I understand the frustration many of my peers have toward our government and political environment. This frustration is a necessary part of our democracy. The citizenry, often called the fourth branch of government, provides a ‘check’ on the various levels of government. So, channel whatever your frustrations may be into your vote on Nov. 8. The local, state and federal election results this November will dictate your future and the future of our country.

As one of three Vote Everywhere Ambassadors with the Andrew Goodman Foundation at Simpson College, we work to mobilize the student population to promote civic engagement and positive social change.

We hosted a Presidential Debate Watch Party Monday in the Black Box. On Tuesday, Voter registration tables are stationed in Kent Campus Center, the quad outside of Dunn Library and Pfeiffer Dining Hall, and the quad outside of Smith Chapel.