The Parthenon

Filed under OPINION

EDITORIAL: Fulfill the American right: go vote

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The past two years have left the American people wondering how we got in this situation. The simple truth: we didn’t show up to vote.

According to statistics collected by the U.S. Elections Project, only 58 percent of eligible voters showed up to the polls for the 2016 general election.

In that same study, West Virginia’s voting-eligible population turnout for the 2016 general election was 50.2 percent.

50 percent of West Virginians threw way their American right; therefore, they diminished their voice. Voting is one of the only ways for a normal, everyday citizen to give their opinion. West Virginians need to use their voices. We need fair and accurate representation. We need to elect officials who want to fight for our rights and fight for our state.

Although college students are more vocal about today’s political climate, voting when one is hours and sometimes states away from their home precinct makes voting more difficult. But realistically, it is simple and easy to send in an absentee ballot. By going to vote.org, one can easily request and absentee ballot.

In Cabell County, college students also have the option of registering to vote using their school address and voting either during the Early Voting period or at their local precinct on Election Day, Nov. 6. To do this, one must update their voter registration and register in Cabell County.

On Aug. 1, the Associated Press reported that nearly 67,000 new voters are registered for this fall’s midterm election in West Virginia.  During this year’s primary, 26 percent of West Virginia’s 1.2 million register voters went out and voted according to West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

So what does this say about us as a state? Do we care about our politicians passing legislation that ultimately hurts us? Or would we rather continue to stay in the shadows of American government.

Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live’s cold open mentioned Joe Manchin in a negative light. West Virginia is constantly painted in a bad light when we have so many rich opportunities to offer the country.

We elected politicians in hopes that they will represent us fairly, not make us a punchline.

The deadline to register to vote in West Virginia is Oct. 16, but it varies state to state. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 31, and must be mailed or hand delivered by Nov. 5.

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