Opinion: Vote and let your voice be heard

Maggie+Wachtel+is+a+sophomore+public+relations+major+and+a+columnist+for+The+Kent+Stater.+Contact+her+at+mwachte2%40kent.edu.

Maggie Wachtel is a sophomore public relations major and a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

Maggie Wachtel

Midterm elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 4, and no matter your views or beliefs, I am encouraging you to go out and vote.

All 435 members of the House of Representatives are up for re-election. According to NPR, almost $4 billion is being spent on this election, making it the most expensive midterm election to date.

Young voters won current president, Barack Obama, the election in 2008. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, overall voter turnout increased by 5 million people in the 2008 election.

Young voters could make a big difference in this election as well. Historically, voters ages 18 to 29 have voted predominately Democratic. Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election by 26 percentage points with the 18 to 29 year-olds, according to fivethirtyeight.com.

But this election could see a bigger turnout of a more conservative young voter demographic. Both Republicans and Democrats alike have been reaching out to younger voters because they know they are less likely to vote in midterm elections.

Just because this is only a midterm election doesn’t mean it’s not important. Democrats currently hold the majority in the senate, but there are several key races that could change that. CNN calculates that seven of the democratic senate seats are at risk. Republicans need to win six of those seats to win the majority in the senate.

Young voter turnout could end up deciding any of the senate races.

The Campus Vote project reports that in 2010, more than 25 percent of college students didn’t vote just because they didn’t know where to vote or how to register. Voting registration is often what stops most students from voting.

They may not be registered in the city where their respective schools are located. And oftentimes, they do not want to return home to vote. There’s always the option of sending in an absentee ballot, but in order to do that, you have to be registered in the first place.

The registration deadline was Oct. 6, but if you have voted before, that isn’t a problem. If you’re not sure if you are properly registered, you can go to voterlookup.sos.state.oh.us to check your status. If you are not from Ohio, you will have to change the last two letters of the URL before “.us” to match your state.

History has shown that when young voters turn out, they turn out big. Young voters have the power to make or break any election. No matter what your views may be, you should go out, vote and let your opinion be heard.