Upcoming election has students questioning the weight of their vote


Rachel Leandri, Contributing Writer

Many young adults consider themselves passionate and motivated. However, after interviewing Wilkes University students about voting, these two adjectives may not be suitable pertaining to the upcoming November election.

In conversations with roughly one dozen students, two-thirds admitted that they registered to vote because of parents or educators. For instance, similar to three other registered students, junior Allison Davis was required to register in her First-Year Foundation class.

Our teacher made us as part of our grade,” she noted. “If we did not vote, we simply did not pass the class.”

Marcia Balester, professor and coordinator of FYF courses at Wilkes University, said she requires her students to vote because it is their responsibility as Americans to do so.

The transmission of democracy is in the hands of college students,” she stated. “If they don’t register, they will hand the opportunity off to those who are less capable and uneducated.”

Other registered interviewees said their parents had the same idea as Balester. The students did not have any other choice in their households but to register to vote.

Freshman Ocean Campbell was the only interviewee whose decision to register was not influenced by authoritative figures, but rather done because it was convenient. The nursing major explained that since she was already at the Department of Motor Vehicles, she figured she would complete the voter registration form.

Some students view registration not only as a painstaking process, but also a waste of time. Half of the four unregistered students claimed their votes would not count. Freshman Steven Huntz refuses to vote any time soon.

I am not registered because all elections are rigged and corrupt,” he said.

Huntz explained there is plenty of evidence that suggest unfairness in recent years and in the past.

It’s my belief that the government has had its own agenda since the founding of this country, and giving people the option to vote lets us ignorantly live in bliss by giving us a sense that we actually have an input,” Huntz continued. “With that said, silly rivalries like republicans vs. democrats keep people distracted from what’s going on behind the scenes.”

The outcome of the November election will have a massive impact on every US citizen- especially college students. When they vote, students are not only defining a younger demographic, but taking a stand on political issues that will heavily influence their future.

College students and their ability to access and complete college are directly linked to who is elected. Broader budget issues including taxes, entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid and tax will surface in terms of governmental funding decisions.

The majority of college students interviewed- registered or not- agreed that it is important for young adults to vote for these specific reasons. However, voting and registering may not be the top priorities on any interviewee’s list as an American.

Many don’t realize that being a citizen of this country is equivalent to winning the lottery,” Balester said. “For something that takes five minutes to do, voting not only makes an impact, but is a remarkable opportunity to fulfill.”

For information on voting qualifications or the registration form to vote, visit:

http://www.luzernecounty.org/county/departments_agencies/bureau_of_elections/register_to vote