Want to see change in Kent? Maybe your sidewalks are crumbling. Or you’d like more entertainment options downtown. Either way, complaining isn’t the solution. Voting is the answer – or at least a proactive step in the right direction.
Take action to make your voice heard. Register to vote in Portage County’s general elections Nov. 3. The deadline to register is next Monday, Oct. 5. If you live in Kent, you’re entitled to have a say in how the city and county operates. And let’s face it: Students make up a good chunk of the city’s population during the school year, so we should take advantage of our stake in the city.
Registration is simple. Walk to the University Library where you can fill out the paperwork in a few easy steps. Registering to vote in Kent means you’ll surrender your ability to vote in your hometown. Before you make that decision, weigh the pros and cons. Where do you spend most of your time? Do you envision moving back to your hometown after graduation? Where do most of your tax dollars go?
If your answers to those questions point to Kent as your “home,” consider making it official by registering to vote here. Because it’s not an election year, officials from the Portage County Board of Elections expect a low voter turnout in November – a sad fact echoed around the country.
In Kent alone, there are elections for the mayor, three at-large council member seats and two municipal judge positions in November. These people regulate our daily lives more than President Barack Obama does from his desk in the Oval Office.
Students, unfortunately, probably have the most interaction with judges when they land in court for various infractions. And as students, we all know certain arrests are more justified than others. That’s why it’s important to do your research and vote: Find the candidates who have shown a history of taking student rights into consideration, and who actually listen to students as Kent residents, not constant troublemakers. After all, elected officials shouldn’t mass generalize the poor decisions of some students to the student population as a whole.
You can’t complain if you don’t vote. If you want change, make it happen the way our forefathers intended. We’re students at a well-respected, four-year university where our primary (non-paying) job is learning. But learning shouldn’t stop at the gates of front campus. Educate yourself about your community – where you live, work and go to school – and cast your ballot Nov. 3.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.