Opinion: Vote like a champ

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton

Bruce Walton is a sophomore news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

As I‘ve said before, I’m spending this entire month to help young voter turnout. But I don’t just want people to vote; I want people to vote well.

What do I mean by voting well? Have you ever put in a ballot for homecoming queen or king, or class president, on the second-to-last day you’re supposed to vote and voted for the prettiest, coolest person, a friend or just someone you’ve heard about, regardless of if anyone else deserved your vote more? Well, that’s bad voting. Voting well is just the opposite, and I’ll walk you through it.

I know this is supposed to be an opinion column, but this is going to be pretty informative. So here’s my opinion: People who care enough to vote should put in the effort that comes with it.

Now, the very first thing you should do — and God I hope you do — is figure out what you want from each candidate. I’m not going to talk about the Democrats and Republicans; for this, read articles from credible news sources that you know are not crazily biased. Not a blog, not three political ads you see on TV, not gossip and don’t blindly follow all of your parents’ beliefs. Actual legitimate news sources.

This will help you understand what each candidate has to offer. It doesn’t matter if they don’t share your every single opinion; if they share it more than the other guy, then it’s OK. Trust me.

Secondly, the process of voting is even easier than the process of registering. Remember, you can register to vote by Oct. 9 by going to the University Library reference desk or the Student Center. If they can’t really do that for you, they’ll at least point you in the right direction; it’s their job.

Also, if you vote in person, look up where you’re supposed to vote so that you don’t miss it. Bring some kind of proof that you are an Ohioan: driver’s license, state or military ID, your last check, your last utility bill or bank statement.

But if you’re too busy to go outside, there’s always absentee voting that you can fill out even before Election Day.

For you students that didn’t grow up in Kent (or Ohio) and want to vote in your hometown, absentee voting also works, but be warned: this means you have to register in that county or state, too. Most of this can be done online, so don’t worry about it – but that doesn’t mean put it off.

So just follow these tips, and you too can vote like a champ. Thanks again to Cara Kashmer for providing some of this information from the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.