Swarthmore students must vote in coming election

This will be a historic election. It will indubitably go down in history as one of the most unexpected and tumultuous cycles in electoral history, irrespective of whether or not we elect our first female president. This election will be memorable for many other reasons, from the ways in which it highlights a broken two-party system to the evidence it provides that American voters are tired of seasoned politicians and instead are strongly craving outsiders. Over the course of the next week, we each have the opportunity to take a few key steps that have the potential to dramatically alter the course that this nation will take over the next four or eight years; our actions, and more importantly our vote, next week will likely impact the future of our nation and the world forever.
The most pressing issues of our time, such as climate change, immigration, or trade and economic policy, are what we are truly voting upon. That is why it falls upon each of us to take the time to educate ourselves on the platforms of the candidates that are running, not only at the presidential level, but at the state and local level. It also becomes our responsibility to talk to our peers, family members, friends, and community members — to encourage them to read up on policies and to do everything we can to make sure they reach the polls next week.
Many students over the past few weeks have discovered that, due to strange technicalities, they were unable to register to vote; notification letters from the County did not arrive in a timely fashion to allow these students to attempt to re-register, in part because students were off-campus during Fall Break. We encourage each of you to call up the Delaware County Voter Registration office in advance of the election to see if there is anything that can be done to allow you to vote if you had registered on campus prior to the Oct. 11 deadline. However, if you are unable to cast your ballot next week, remember two things: first, you can volunteer over the next few days and do your part in raising awareness and increasing voter turnout; there are ways to play a role in the political process even if you are unable to vote. Second, you can encourage your peers to vote against local and state officials who work to prevent the enfranchisement of voters, and spur them to vote for candidates who will work to reduce or eliminate hurdles in the voting process, instead.
Now is not the time to be complacent. The candidates we have to choose from this Election Day have vastly different experience levels, and they will likely promote vastly different levels of inclusivity in their policies and ideologies if elected. If your own rights and liberties and freedoms are not in danger, those of your peer or roommate or professor may be. Cast your ballot with these considerations in mind. We are defining the future and democracy that we will be inheriting — your vote has never mattered more.

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