With all the chaos swirling around the political cycle this year, it is hard to separate the issues from the rhetoric. It is tempting to simply tune out the noise altogether and let someone else worry about who should be president.
But MVNU’s new political science Professor Terilyn Johnston Huntington wants students to know that their votes are important.
“It’s important for young voters to know their voices legitimately matter,” she said. “Especially in a swing state like Ohio. Ohio is vital in [presidential elections].”
Huntington noted this generation’s desire to be active citizens and stressed that voting is a great way to do it.
“Find the issues that actually affect you, like student loan interest rates,” she said. Then find out which candidate supports your view and learn more about where they stand on other issues.
Huntington also stressed the importance of voting for state and local elections.
“Look at [who is running] for congress, the senate, judgeships, and city council in your area,” she said. These elections will determine issues that have a more immediate impact on day-to-day life.
“You may agree with a foreign policy decision but you may not see the effects on a daily basis,” Huntington said.
But, voting for city council members can determine if and when the roads in your town get repaired, or how quickly streetlights get replaced.
These local elections are often decided by dozens of votes, rather than hundreds or thousands like a presidential race. Each vote can really make an impact.
Huntington encouraged all students to actively engage in society, and to do so without being fearful of the outcome.
“It’s actually not biblical to be fearful of politics,” she said, referring to 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV).
As a college student, you can choose to vote by your home address or your school address. If you choose to vote in your home state and local elections, make sure you will be there on Election Day, or that you check online for your state’s absentee ballot requirements.
If you decide to register here in Ohio, make sure that you have a valid ID for your address here, and that you submit your registration by the deadline, Oct. 11.
For more information on how to register in Ohio, go to myohiovote.com or call the Knox County Board of Elections at 740-393-6716.
Professor Huntington also has voter registration forms for students on her office door, Faculty 101B.
Election Day is Nov 8.