This election has been undeniably frustrating, all consuming, and generally dirty but on Tuesday evening it will all be over. Polls across all 50 states will open between the hours of 6 and 7 am and will close between 7 and 8pm. During that time around 120 million Americans will stand in line to cast their votes. I hope that you will be one of those 120 million. Due to the "questionable" fitness of our candidates I know it is tempting to refuse to vote at all. Not everyone can quite get on board with the philosophy of choosing the lesser of the two evils, or is a fan of the third party candidates. Personally, I had certainly hoped there would have been far more ideal options to choose from during my first ever chance to vote. However, as this is the state in which our nation has found itself, here are ten reasons to motivate you to vote.
1.) It is your right.
We've been told since elementary school that voting is our duty as a citizen. Citizens of other counties are not allowed to play any part in the process of selecting their leaders. As we are lucky enough to have the right, we should take the time out of our day to exercise it.
2.) Many, many, people fought to give us this right.
Many of us probably know someone who is either currently serving in the military or has in the past. These individuals put their lives on the line to ensure that we continue to have rights like the ability to vote. We can honor them by taking part in this year’s election.
3.) To honor of those who took part in the Civil Rights and Women's Suffrage Movements.
Women did not gain suffrage until 1919. To put this in perspective, many of our grandmothers and great grandmothers were alive during a time when they were told they were not enough of an American citizen to cast their vote. Thanks to ladies like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone and many others we have grown up in a nation where our voice can be heard.
In addition, many minority groups such as African-Americans and Native Americans have also faced obstacles in voting through the years. It is important to recognize that many of these issues are still ongoing.
4.) Show your concern for the upcoming generation.
By voting we are not just influencing the present, but also affecting the future. Many might not know that whoever becomes president will choose U.S. Supreme Court justices for appointments that will be lifelong. This is obviously pretty scary to consider, especially if we passionately oppose the politics of one of the candidates.
5.) Share your voice on environmental issues.
Our generation is known for its passion for protecting the environment, which now faces more problems than ever before. The decisions we make now in regards to our environment will affect the planet for years to come. By casting our vote at least we can say we did what we could to try and reverse the damage that is being done.
6.) Our votes as students are particularly crucial!
As college students we of course have student needs that we would like politicians to pay attention to. Politicians will be able to see what types of groups vote in the upcoming elections. A high voter turn out among college students not only shows that we care about what is going on with our nation, but will also allow us to have a more significant political influence.
7.) Your vote matters. (Even if you don't think it does.)
I know a lot of people think their vote probably won’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. However, research into past elections show that a small handful of votes can actually make or break the entire thing. Maybe you think your chosen candidate will win by a landslide. Even if it ends up being close, don't leave anything up to chance. Vote and encourage others to do the same.
OTHER IMPORTANT DETAILS REGARDING VOTING DAY (NOVEMBER 8th)
-There will be voting booths set up in the Purdue Memorial Union from 6am-6pm.
Other voting locations include:
-Morton Community Center at 22 N Chauncey Ave (6am-6pm)
-Lafayette City Hall at 20 N 6th St. (6am-6pm)
-Burtsfield Gymnasium at 1800 N Salisbury Street (6am-6pm)