Don’t ‘forget’ to register to vote
Debate about the colorful collection of candidates has been inescapable. Whether you’ve read the paper, watched the news, scrolled through Facebook or cracked up at the numerous memes floating around Instagram, you have been exposed to the politics of the 2016 presidential campaigns.
Now being a political science minor, I am somewhat obliged to tell you that taking part in the political debate is important, but follow through is even more so. I cannot even begin to count how many people, specifically students, have debated with me until they were blue in the face about who is best fit to run this country, only to end their long-winded speeches with “I’m not going to bother voting though.”
I understand this feeling, but I can’t accept it. Voting may seem pointless, even a hassle to us stressed students, but we covet more power than we know. While one vote may statistically make very little impact on an election, the mentality that it doesn’t matter makes a huge one. If the hundreds of thousands of people who felt this way voted, we would have severely differing results. This same mentality has kept much of the youth away from the polls for decades. We should change that, we can change that and much of the media is saying we will.
The millennial vote has been discussed on many morning talk shows and analyzed in numerous online news articles as being a huge factor within this presidential election, and I certainly hope they are right. With the Internet, smart phones and tablets we have all the information we need to become well-informed voters at our fingertips.*
The Illinois caucus is not until March 15, so you have quite a bit of time to further educate yourself on candidates and prepare yourself to vote. Part of that preparation is making sure you are registered to vote. For Chicagoans, the deadline to register is Feb. 16, which is quite soon. If you have not yet registered, you can easily fill out an online form whilst laying on the couch with your laptop and binge-watching Netflix.
*SIDENOTE: Be aware of where you are getting your information. It is easy to receive a skewed perception of the presidential hopefuls and race as a whole without knowing it. Some TV channels, online journals and “official” Twitter or Instagram accounts have hidden political agendas, so vetting your source can be helpful if you want to truly form your own opinion.
Lucy Teruel is a sophomore majoring in communications and minoring in political science. Born and raised on the North Side of Chicago, Lucy loves music, French, shopping, going to the gym and traveling. She’s also an avid sports fan with a particular penchant for the Chicago Cubs. She hopes to one day become a sportscaster, so don’t be surprised if you catch her on the nightly news a few years from now.