Our view: Join us, won’t you?

Earlier this week, the Stater sent a few reporters to Buffalo, N.Y., to cover the Super Tuesday primary elections. We thought it’d be interesting to gauge how college students were feeling about one of the most heated primary elections in history.

But what we found surprised us. Out of the more than 18,000 students at the University at Buffalo, fewer than 100 voted at campus polling locations. Sure, we can hope the other thousands of students voted absentee or at off-campus polling locations, but one of the reasons Peter Grollitsch, president of the University at Buffalo Undergraduate Student Association, said students weren’t at the polls was that the younger voters are “too busy doing other things.”

But with such a close race this late into primary season, Ohio now matters. So we’re hoping you’re not “busy doing other things” instead of voting. The March 4 primary is less than a month away, and Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have already sent aides to Ohio, according to The Associated Press. John McCain has yet to send staff to here, but he’s pledged to keep an eye on our state. The candidates are guaranteed to make visits to the state. So if you’re unsure about what you’re reading in the papers, check out the candidates in person.

Our role in the general election has consistently been one of the deciding factors in general elections, such as in 2000 and 2004. As the presidential election rolls around, we’re likely to get slammed with political TV spots and campaign literature. And as the March 4 primary nears, the same is bound to happen.

But don’t let all that disenfranchise you. College-aged voters are a key voting bloc for the candidates. We guarantee you candidates will be surrounded by young college-aged voters the night of the primary.

Poll workers at the University at Buffalo also said there’s a lack of knowledge about the voting process, which was also a factor in the low turnout.

We’re aware college students have a lot on their minds. We know you have to find time to eat Chipotle for the fifth time this week. We know you have to find time to complain because your Sociology class wasn’t canceled. We know you have to find time to cry because the writers’ strike has yet to be resolved. But we’re just asking you to take a few minutes each day to inform yourself on the electoral process. Just set aside 10 minutes to read the latest election headlines.

On the March 4 primary, we’re going to have reporters trying to gauge whether our fellow students are voting. We hope you don’t disappoint us like the student body in Buffalo did. If you know you won’t be able to make it to a polling location that day, you can still request an absentee ballot from the Board of Elections where you’re registered to vote.

We have a chance to make a difference in how our country is run, and voting in this primary is the first step. Join us, won’t you?

The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.