The Power and Responsibility of Voting

Blake McMillan, Opinion Editor

Im an extreme mixture of excited, nervous, and hopeful to vote this year for the first time in the general election. Its a really important time in our country to get involved, and I hope my fellow Beavers are feeling the same way. This 2020 election will decide how we move forward as a state and country. Im not here to tell you how to vote, but why I think you should vote because I know every famous person and social media platform hasnt already. 

Voting, essentially, is the way to make your voice heard on local and national scales. A full list of whats on the ballot can be found here on the Iowa Secretary of State website. There are opportunities to have your voice heard here at your local and state level. Its important that we research who we are voting for. Change does start at home, after all, so find out who is on your ballot and where you will be voting. 

If youre an out of state student, investigate mail-in voting and who all will be on your ballot at home. Important note for out of state students at BVU, you can vote in Iowa if youd like, by getting a letter of proof from the school that Buena Vista University is your home. I did this so I could caucus back in February. Seeing that there are more political opportunities here, Im voting from BVU rather than my home state. 

There are so many ways to research our candidates and educate yourself. 

Here are a few quick tips and resources for you to get started!  

Research our candidates: In 2020, it can be easy to find news on your national and local representatives running for office. However, in 2020, it can be just as easy to be indirectly swayed by biased and fake news. The website Ballot Ready provides a guide to presidential candidates and Iowans running for senate. You can view Ballot Ready’s Iowa ballot page here. 

Getting educated: On any given debate night, every big media news outlet is live streaming the debate on YouTube. The next presidential debate is set for next Thursday, October 15 – that could change, however, seeing that Trump said on Tuesday he does refuse to join the debate stage virtually. In any given case, you can view TIME’s YouTube channel here and tune in to next Thursday’s tentative debate then. 

Guide to mail-in voting: I may be biased because this piece was written by one of my new favorite fellow Tackers. Joceline Medina outlines the ways you can ensure you can vote during a pandemic year. You can view Voting Guide for College Students here. 

Above all, we must work together and all vote if we wish to create change in our country. Its up to us as the generation that talks on social media about our elected officials to now vote for new ones. We must realize that our voice matters. Voting can sound intimidating. But we must understand the importance of the moment it is not a time to be nervous or afraid; it’s a time to be brave and educate yourself.  



Medina, J. (n.d.). Voting Guide for College Students. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from 

Time Magazine. (n.d.). TIME. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from 

Your ballot explained. (n.d.). Retrieved October 09, 2020, from