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Vote in the Midterm Elections

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Photo Courtesy of Leech Lake News

Photo Courtesy of Leech Lake News

Photo Courtesy of Leech Lake News

Autumn McClain , Contributing Writer

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Midterm election day is Nov. 6, 2018. For those who don’t know, a presidential election occurs every four years, and in between each midterm elections are held. In these elections, Americans vote for representatives, senators, and local government positions.  

Why You Should Vote in the Midterm Elections

The following are some of the reasons I believe you should vote this election season.  

First, it is easy to register to vote! If you are a first-time voter, you can register to vote online.   

“If you have never registered to vote before, you can register in BV county and use your BVU address as your main address on that form,” says Laura Petersen, president of College Republicans here at BVU.  

These forms can be located in the Buena Vista county courthouse, where you can fill one out in person and ask questions if needed. Iowa also offers online voter registration. The cut off day for online voter registration in this particular election is Oct. 27, 2018. Go to the Iowa Secretary of State’s official website for further instruction.  

You can also access an example ballot at your county’s online website. This way you can see the exact names and format on the ballot that you will receive on election day at the polls. You can research the candidates running for election and form educated opinions about them. The power that these candidates have after being elected is truly baffling. To not take the time to educate ourselves and exercise our right as Americans is a careless way to run a country.  

If you are a student at BVU and you are registered to vote in Storm Lake, there will be voting booths located in the Estelle Sieben’s Science Center on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You can register to vote on site, providing you have supporting documentation.  

“All you need for registration online is a driver’s license number, the last four digits of your social security number, know what county you live in and reside in,” said Laura Petersen.  

If you are already registered to vote, google search the county in which you live. For example: Storm Lake would be Buena Vista County Homepage. There you will be able to locate an absentee ballot request form. Simply fill it out online and submit it if possible or print off a copy and mail it to your county auditor. Then, you will receive a voter absentee ballot in the mail, which will allow your vote to pool in with other votes from your county. Simply fill it out, pop it in the mail, and continue on with your day with a feeling of accomplishment.  

Your voice matters. According to NPR.org, “millennials” is a term referring to those who are between the ages of 18-35. Millennials make up a potential total of 31 percent in the total US population of eligible voters. This can be compared to Generation X (ages 36-51) at 25 percent and the “Greatest Generation” (ages 71+) at 12 percent.  

Every year the number of baby boomers decreases and that increases the number of millennial voters by comparison. This means that if all millennials go to the polls and exercise their right to vote, we can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of upcoming elections. The problem is the lack of voting activity among this group.  

Millennials have great potential to sway any election that occurs in the US due to population distribution. However, the actual turnout rate for young voters is extremely low. To put it into simpler terms, millennials make up 31 percent of overall voters, but only 46 percent of that group actually vote. That means almost half of eligible voters between the ages of 18-35 are not exercising their right to vote.

Photo Courtesy of UPI

“They [inactive voters] don’t care, or they don’t feel as though they know enough to get out and vote. I would argue that that’s truly squandering an incredible gift that we have been given. So, I do hope this midterm election is going to be different,” says Dr. Andrea Frantz, associate professor of digital media. “There are so many issues that I think are so relevant, especially to people your age. Affordable education, affordable health care, access to healthcare particularly in reproductive rights issues, civil rights, and equality. All of these things, they matter, and they matter to people your age. So, I do hope that BVU students get out and vote.”

If you need motivation to get to the polls and vote, here are just a few issues that had impacted the state of our country this past year: Minimum wage; the legalization of medical marijuana; sexual assault and the #metoo movement; the Flint water crisis; ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the separation of illegal immigrant children from their parents; the shutdown of Planned Parenthood; women’s rights; affordable education and teachers’ salaries; and school shooting concerns. Take the time to educate yourselves on these issues, and if you feel even the slightest concern over any of these topics, make a difference by voting on Nov. 6. Your vote will dictate what steps our country takes to resolve these issues and similar issues that will arise in the future.  

 Why I am Voting in This Year’s Midterm Elections

Personally, I choose to vote because I am involved in activism. Last year, my senior year of high school, I organized and lead a walk out in protest gun violence across the nation. In the Parkland school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, 17 students were killed because one boy had access to an AR 15-assult rifle.  Leaders of these walkouts across America reached out to elected officials and voiced their concerns for safety in our school districts. As of Oct. 3, 2018, there have been 273 mass shootings in our country. In 2017, there were a total of 346 mass shootings according to abc.15.com. This is an issue that I feel strongly about, but it is not the only reason I will be going to the polls this election season. I also care about women’s rights, equality, and the extremely high rate of sexual assault and rape crimes that occur in our country. One out of every five women will be raped in their lifetime in the United States according to nsvrc.org. To have a president who belittles women and speaks ignorantly about sexual assault and rape crimes is a serious issue in my eyes.  

Amanda Edwards
Photo Courtesy of Defender Network

“I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. And when you’re a star you can do anything, whatever you want. Grab them by the p***y,” said Donald Trump, President of the United States.

The man who said this is the leader of the United States of America, and in my opinion, it is absolutely appalling. These are the conversations that directly contribute to rape culture in our country. Our president has been accused of rape by several women during his presidency, alongside many other candidates who are currently running for election, such as Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is the new US Supreme Court justice picked by Donald Trump, is under investigation for sexual assault allegations. If we want to counteract these immoral crimes that are being committed by members of our electoral justice system, we have to vote to prevent these perpetrators from gaining a position of power.  

“We have to pay attention with respect to the decisions that are being made for us. Do they really represent what we want? This is the first opportunity for people your age to really engage. So many countries across the world don’t have this. It’s a privilege, and for us not to exercise it is foolish, in my opinion,” adds Frantz.  

No matter what side you are on – red, blue, or independent – get out and vote. Turn your opinion into action that can help shape the way of our country.  

For more information about voting on campus contact Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson at:  

Phone: 712-749-2443 

Email: [email protected]

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