Students talk voting

Lu Aleman

By Julia Battishill and Lu Aleman

The United States is a democracy, which means government officials at all levels are elected by the votes of the people. From the leader of the free world, to senators, to local public school policies, the votes of the people indicate what happens within each community.

In the beginnings of U.S. government circa the early 1800s, the American voting demographic would have looked drastically different than it does today; for much of American history, various groups have had to fight for their right to the ballot boxes.

Slowly, throughout the many years since the inception of the U.S., more and more Americans have been enfranchised to vote.

Today, in 2018, several constitutional laws have been passed to guarantee the equal right to vote to any legal American citizen over the age of 18.

However, according to census studies, only 61.4 percent of eligible United States voters reported voting in the 2016 presidential election.
This number has not changed much in recent years, it only slightly decreased from the 61.8 percent that voted in 2012.

As such, voting is regarded by some, but not all, Americans as an important civil responsibility.

Many drive out of their way, miss work, or get absentee ballots sent to their out-of-state universities in order to participate in elections.

However, as shown by the statistics, that sentiment is not shared by all citizens.
The same can be said for the smaller community at Seattle Pacific University: While almost everyone on campus is of legal voting age, not every student is invested in voting while others have been excited for the midterm elections on Nov. 6 all year.

Nathaniel Navarro, a first-year at SPU, feels strongly about the importance of voting in the midterms.

For Navarro, voting is essential to participating in democracy as it allows the people’s voices to be heard.

He values his right to vote, and plans to utilize it this week.

On the importance of voting, Navarro wrote, “I recommend people vote … If we have the power to change things we do not agree with, why wouldn’t we?”

However passionate Navarro is about voting, he also strongly believes that one should do their research before they fill out their ballots.

“It is important to be informed before making this huge choice, however. #FactsDon’tCareAboutYourFeelings,” Navarro emphasized.

Many students believe that voting is an inherently critical part of democracy.
“Voting … is the backbone (or at least should be) of our government,” remarked Sofia Tekorius, a first-year.

“If you’re [going to] complain about something, you [have to] do something about it and put your ballot where your mouth is.”

Many believe it is important to research and learn the whole story before making a choice.

It is believed by many voters, such as first-year Haylie Turner, that being informed about the candidates is crucial to the voting process.

Turner says that she will not be voting this year because she is not as well updated on who is running for office as she would prefer to be.

She said, “don’t vote because you want Democrats to be Republicans, vote because you think that elected official best represents your ideas.”

The opportunity to vote, whether or not students chose to take it, is coming up on Nov. 6. Drop boxes close at 8 p.m.

Voting statistics were found at the webpage for the United States Census Bureau at www.census.gov