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Editorial

Election needs students’ voices

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February 7, 2008

Here in the United States we have the ability to vote for the one person we want to be the leader of our country. For some people, including young people, that ability may be taken for granted. In past elections, young people haven’t paid nearly as much attention as they should to the upcoming elections and haven’t put much effort towards learning about the candidates. 

This year, however, things may be changing. But it is still up to us to make them change. Only we, the young people, can get to the polls on Election Day and make our voices heard. According to an article in the Washington Post in 2004, only 47 percent of people between the ages of 18-24 voted. Although that number is not nearly where it should be, it’s significantly higher than in the past.

This election year is different. Candidates across the country are capturing the attention of young voters, and some are doing a great job of getting people our age involved. Organizations on campus are doing a great job of trying to get students involved in politics. From Jan. 28-30, almost 600 new students registered to vote. Also, information was given out about how students could register leading up to the primaries at City Hall or the polls.

Whether organizaions support Obama, Clinton, McCain Paul, they’ve been making a similar plea: we don’t care who you vote for, we just want you to get informed and vote Not everyone has a political bent or even cares about elections.We understand that in the right to vote is also a right not to.

If you don’t have any knowledge about any of the candidates, don’t just jump on the bandwagon. An uniformed electorate will do more damage than one that doesn’t vote. Just keep in mind that if you choose not to participate in selecting our leaders, you give up your right to complain once you see how those leaders operate. If you don’t know anything about the candidates, there are a few wonderful resources to help you learn the basics. River Falls Votes has been working on campus to provide information. Googling each candidate’s name will bring up a host of Web sites detailing their ideas. Even just standing in the Political Science department in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building is sure to give you some insight. This is college. We should know how to do a little research.Young or old, your opinion does matter, and voting only takes a little bit of time out of one day. So get out there, get to know the candidates, and let your voice be heard.