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To Vote or Not to Vote: That is the Question

If you’ve logged into any social media website in recent months, chances are—regardless of your class, creed, race or party affiliation—you have been urged by friends, celebrities, politicians and perfect strangers to vote on November 6.

Have you voted before? Will you vote in the future? Many Lyon students have voted, and more plan to do so in coming elections.

Senior Amanda Ford believes that voting “is extremely important at all levels.” She maintains that while the Presidential elections hold our attention best, there is more to voting than just one big election every four years.

“Most issues begin at the local level,” says Ford. “Especially the ones that have the most effect on a person’s everyday life. Even within the Presidential cabinet, the House and the Senate, there is never one person who is making a decision—it is the collaboration of many people who vote on these issues.”

Getting educated about various politicians’ positions influences some students to make it to the polls. One such student who has voted in the past and plans to continue doing so has volunteered for several campaigns, fostering within them an “attachment to [the politicians’] cause.”

Senior Morgun Henson also believes that voting is very important. “If we are passionate about making the country more sustainable,” she says, “then we should exercise our voice and actively try to change what we don’t like.”

Many students cited their “civic duties” when explaining why they think that their fellow students who do vote do so. When asked how important voting is, almost everyone says it is extremely important: why then doesn’t everyone vote?

“I like to avoid any and all controversy associated with political opinions,” says one anonymous student, who has voted in the past but isn’t sure about voting consistently in the future. “When asked, it is easiest to say I did not vote. Also, I am for the most part moderate, so I don’t care who gets what position as long as they are not too radical in one direction or the other.”

“There are also issues of time, location and transportation availability for many people, which is truly unfortunate,” Ford explained when asked why she thinks others do not exercise their right to vote.

Other students offered another reason that Americans might not vote: “They feel as if their opinion doesn’t matter or they think that their vote won’t make a difference.” Nearly every student responded with some variation of this sentiment.

It appears that many people on Lyon’s campus are of the opinion that if you want to see change in America, you have to take initiative and vote. One student vocalized the alternative: “If you don’t [vote] you can’t complain.”