With Election Day approaching, media sources are filled with political propaganda attempting to persuade you to vote one way or another. Being bombarded with biased ads on television and voter registration volunteers on campus can cause students to steer away from politics and the entire voting process altogether.
There are many reasons why eligible voters choose not to vote and it is fairly their right to make that decision. For others, this voting business can be very overwhelming. The media plays a huge role in our perceptions of the voting process and individuals campaigning for certain positions. A majority of people learn about the individual candidates simply by what they hear on the radio, see on Facebook, read on Twitter, or from commercials seen on television.
The right to vote is a way to apply your voice to the system that governs your future. But in primary elections, such as the one coming Nov. 8 to a polling place near you, we get lost in the ‘‘He said…, she said…’’ of the theatrical political circus. With all the debates and vague campaign speeches it is not hard for one to lose sight of what is really at stake. Forfeiting the right to vote is a personal choice but in doing so one must realize the various items they chose to approve or disapprove.
The primary focus of the current election has been on two candidates: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, whom are both running for the position of President of the United States. Voters aren’t just limited to these Republican or Democratic nominees.
There are other options besides these two; Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party are two other candidates running for the oval office this November. This may mean little to nothing to voters whom may not know much about these “other” presidential possibilities.
Fortunately, as students we have access to the internet on campus. If used wisely we can learn a ton about these two unseen individuals and what they have to offer American politics. There are many great tools online such as www.votesmart.org. This website is a clever way to find your “political soulmate”.
Another great web-based tool for researching a candidate can be found on www.2016election.procon.org. To cut out all the confusion of conducting time-consuming research this website created a quiz which helps match individuals to the find that best person representing their beliefs. It is a simplified, non-biased way to find your favorite choice for the next Commander-in-Chief.
The 2016 elections will also include a general election (local/state government officials and propositions). Not only would voters be choosing a new president but also their votes could result in a new county sheriff for Maricopa County. Our current sheriff is Joe Arpaio and the candidate running against him is Paul Penzone. Ann Kirkpatrick and John McCain are also both running for the state senator position and voters will decide between the two candidates.
Change takes place on many levels in these historical elections and we have more decisions to make than just what we hear on a national level including specific propositions initiated by citizens. The two major propositions on the ballot, specifically for the state of Arizona, are Prop 205 and Prop 206.
Some agree with these propositions, others are against them, and some might be completely oblivious to all these choices presented to us. Voting is the most effective way of making your mark on certain issues. Educating oneself on the pros and cons of an issue or a candidate is a beneficial way to find confidence in how you decide to use your personal vote.
An important date to remember is Oct. 10. Eligible voters must register by this date in order to participate in the election on Nov. 8. The library on campus or public community libraries are great places to start your search, if you are looking for unbiased information on candidates, the election procedure, registration process, or specific initiatives or simply visit www.arizona.vote.