Editorial: Vote in the midterms. They’re too important to skip

The Daily Northwestern Editorial Board

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Over the past few weeks, we’ve been bombarded with messages about voting, with celebrities, politicians and journalists urging their followers on social media to head to the polls. While it may seem like much of our current political situation will remain the same for another two years until the next presidential election, there is still much to be decided in the upcoming Nov. 6 midterm election. On Tuesday, voters will have the opportunity to elect 435 Representatives, 34 Senators, 36 state governors and thousands of state legislators, as well as many other state and local officials.

As a country, we tend to focus on the problems with the way our federal government is run. While this concern is valid, many of the same issues we see on a national level manifest themselves in local elections, affecting us much more concretely.

Midterms are a chance to change the conversations happening at the local, state and federal levels, whether you cast your ballot in Illinois or in your home state. As difficult as it may be to worry about voting amid studying, working and other activities, Northwestern students still have access to voting in a way that many in the country do not.

There are several organizations on campus and in the city of Evanston that will help you make your voice heard. NUVotes is a great resource to help inform your decision. They will drive you to the polls, if you’re voting early in Evanston, or they will help you get a stamp for an absentee ballot. If you’re a Northwestern student who is eligible to vote, there are few good excuses not to: Make the time and take advantage of these resources.

There are a lot of names and initiatives on the ballots as well, regardless of where you live, so look up who the candidates are on nonpartisan websites (like BallotReady and Rock the Vote) to read up on their platforms and past voting histories, and research the referendums posed to your state. If you are able and willing to cast a vote, make sure it’s an informed one.

Finally, don’t let this general election be your last brush with civic engagement. Continue to inform yourself about important issues, connect with local activist groups on and off campus and participate in organizations that further your values. Even if, for whatever reason, you cannot cast a ballot this year, continue to fight for your voice to be heard. Voting is a great first step, but as young adults, we need to continue this wave of energy for years to come.

This piece represents the majority opinion of the Editorial Board of The Daily Northwestern. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members or Editorial Board members of The Daily Northwestern.