Let your voice be heard, vote

Election Day is now less than two weeks away, when S.C. voters will choose a future governor, U.S. and state representatives, state attorney general and much more.

However, many of the people reading this won’t be involved in that decision-making process. In the last midterm election, 16 percent of registered S.C. voters came out to vote. According to WIS News 10, people aged 18-24 make up just 8.4 percent of the total registered voters in the state.

We simply cannot be willing to sit this midterm election out, or any midterm election for that matter. There can be a tendency to only see the presidential election as an important one, but that simply isn’t true. The midterms always include members of the legislative branch of government, and too often, people don’t help to choose the people who actually write our laws.

Sometimes state government is forgotten in the noise of national politics, even though it can be just as important. If you have a problem with the justice system, the education system, the tax system or any other issue in S.C., you need to vote in midterm elections.

There has also been a tendency for people to not vote because of a belief that their vote doesn’t matter. To start, if even a fraction of these people voted, their vote would matter. But even so, individual votes can actually matter. For instance, Florence, S.C.’s mayor Stephen Wukela won his first primary election by just one vote. If a couple of people had decided to stay home because they thought it wouldn’t matter, the town might have a different mayor today.

It can seem intimidating to vote. It may seem like an inconvenience to leave your home to participate. However, it is much simpler than that. It took me about 3 minutes to vote the last time I voted. Voting precincts are all over, and it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to get your vote in. However, even if it takes a part of your day that you didn’t want to sacrifice, this is nothing compared to the future that elected officials can make for you, because even if you don’t want to participate in their life, they will participate in yours.

You may not want to vote because you don’t know anything about the candidates, and that’s understandable. However, there is still time to learn. On scvotes.org, you can request a sample ballot to see a list of all your choices. You can then simply search their names to see what they believe, and I guarantee some will be working to fix an issue you care about.

If you missed the voting registration deadline this year, go online and register immediately so you can vote in the next election. This is another very quick process. You can go online and insert your name, address, license number and Social Security number, and that’s essentially it.

If you are registered, you should seriously consider voting in the upcoming elections. You can now get an absentee ballot if you won’t be able to come to the polls on Election Day. If you can, the polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Nov. 6, and I hope to see a crowd of FMU students there.