If you ever studied history, you probably know that those were students who started and sustained almost every revolution there was. Even if those standing at the foothills of change were not students, they were young people who wanted a better future for themselves and their children. Now, as the 21st century loomed on the horizon, you don’t have to be a warrior to live in the democratic world. Nowadays, everything you have to do is cast your vote and let the people you chose govern the country.
Today, the voters aged between 18 and 29 constitute more than 20% of eligible voters in the US. Unfortunately, too many students squander their voting privileges. They think there are more important things than spending half an hour to express their political will. Given that the next presidential election in the United States will take place in 2020, we shall discuss why you should vote and the most convenient ways to do it in college.
Why Student Vote Matters?
Even the question itself may be considered a misinterpretation of your civil duties. First, you skip your right to vote and then spend four years complaining about how ineffective the chosen government is. Isn’t that top-shelf hypocrisy? While the congress and senate elections are being held in every state separately, you should know that the election of the pivotal politician in the United States, the President, takes place in quite a sophisticated manner.
The electoral college divides the country into 538 electoral units. Imagine them as 538 individual voters. Regardless of how many people live in, for example, Washington D.C., it will have the same number of votes as an average big state. So, you might say that your vote doesn't matter as you live in Vermont which holds only 3 out of 538 electors. Your position on the issue sounds fairly logical, right? But is it?
Nonetheless, how do you know that your voice won’t be decisive in defining the candidate who takes the third and final vote? What is more, student voting is freed from the necessity of being present at the voting precinct of your registration. Do not let the myth that you cannot vote from your dormitory distort your right and your highest duty to cast the ballot and express your political will.
Get your absentee voting certificate and cast the ballot wherever you feel comfortable because you are a citizen of the United States of America in the first place. So, remember your vote matters. Do not listen to those saying that you will have to back all the way westward to Los Angeles to vote if you live and study in, let’s say, New York.
So, let us wrap it all up. You should vote because:
- Your vote matters;
- The electoral college does not reduce the weight of your political will;
- You can vote from wherever you feel comfortable;
- You can get an absentee voting certificate;
- The myths about the need for traveling throughout the country are busted;
How to Vote in College?
Voting in college is no rocket science. Don’t let anyone’s opinion disperse your confidence of an American who wants to express his or her political will. Remember, this is an inalienable right; nobody can deprive you of it. So, here comes a stepwise guide to casting your vote if you are a college student:
Step 1. Define Where You Would Like to Register
Once again, it doesn’t mean you have to change your registration address. It is all about where you would like to be registered for an upcoming election to express your political preference.
Step 2. Always Check on Deadlines and Eligibility
One common mistake young vote holders make is thinking they still have a lot of time to register.
Step 3. Decide on the Party
One more reason why people and especially students eventually refuse to go to the polling stations is that they consider both parties’ political vision to be unworthy. While it might be so, you still have to choose your colors. Otherwise, you let someone else do it for you.
Step 4. Register
It seems quite obvious, and no explanations are needed here. Register as a voter as soon as possible and get on with your democratic duty.
Step 5. Request the Absentee Voting Certificate
You never know where you gonna end the day. However, if you know that on the election day, you will be in a place different from the precinct you are registered at, get your absentee certificate and vote wherever you need.
Step 6. Do It!
Just go out there and vote! Remember, it is not only your right but also your duty. You have no moral right to criticize the government when they do something wrong. Otherwise, you can consider yourself the one who took them to their offices.
Follow these steps and remember: if you know that you are going to be overseas on the election day, you can always cast your ballot in advance or vote online from wherever you are.
Voting Resources for Students
Here, you can find all the information you need about the candidates, parties, electoral reforms, etc.
The USSA has been working hard to ensure that each and every student’s electoral rights are being preserved.
This resource has been created as a platform for unifying campus activists from all over the United States.
This is an informational resource for everyone willing to know more about the Republicans and their election agenda.
This is an informational resource for everyone willing to know more about the Democrats and their election agenda.
Do not miss your chance to become a leader of changes when it comes to educating young people about their voting rights.
The mobilize.org platform serves for the consolidation of young voters who care for retaining their rights.
This is a nationwide student organization that is eager to work with everyone who wants to change the election system for the better.
If you are a politically active person and you want to choose a college where activism prospers, make sure to check this database.
10. Can I Vote?
This program by the National Association of the Secretaries of the State has been created to help students retain their voting right.
Organizations for Students that Spread Election-Related Information
This non-profit organization makes sure that students from all around the country perceive voting as something truly needed and even trendy.
2. Fair Vote
Founded in 1992, Fair Vote has been advocating for a democratic electoral reform ever since.
This is a political organization founded in 2017 to promote fair elections for every citizen of the United States.
4. Voto Latino
This non-profit, non-partisan organization takes proper care of the young voters, including students coming from Hispanic or Latino backgrounds.
HeadCount is a non-profit organization that fosters voter registration and propels people into voting through informational campaigns and artistic events.
Know Your Rights
Now, there are basic voting rights that nobody can deprive you of. We have selected five of them to ensure you can use your civil rights smoothly regardless of the place of your registration. Learn them by heart and never forget!
- You have the right to vote.
- You have the right to keeping it private.
- You have the right not to be forced to vote.
- You have the right to vote for any candidate/party there is on the ballot.
- You have the right to vote from your dorm if you are a college student.
FAQs on College Voting
1. Why would I vote?
You should vote because it is your duty and your right. Your voice can change the fate of an entire country.
2. Can I register at my dorm?
Yes, you can! Contact your dorm administration for that.
3. What is the Electoral College?
Electoral College is the unique system of elections in the United States that envisages a disproportionate number of votes distributed to every state. The total number of votes is 538.
4. What should I do if my college refuses to register me as a voter?
Call the police! This is a direct violation of your human right.
5. What is an absentee voting certificate?
This is a document issued at your registration precinct that grants you the right to vote anywhere on the territory of the United States of America on election day.
Now, you can see how many resources and organizations are out there taking care of your voting rights. Do not be that reckless and do not throw your constitutional right into the trash just because someone said you couldn’t vote while in college. You can do that and, what is more, you should do that. Go out there, register as a voter, and never take the country you live in for granted. It was not that long ago people fought to death for you to have this right today.