November elections approach young voters
TNE Editor
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November elections approach young voters

Published 11/01/18

Caleb Eutsler

TNE Writer

The 2018 elections are in November. The election gives citizens across the nation the chance to vote for change. The midterm elections ballot includes various seats and state questions, and a call to action is being voiced across the nation.

This could be the first time some college students have the opportunity to participate in the voting process. This gives a new generation of leaders the chance to not only have a voice in their community, but also be a voice for their nation.

“I was a political science major and tended to surround myself with people who also cared a lot about politics,” said Alisha Fletcher, NSU alumni. “What I’ve found overall is that there’s a sense of apathy or the idea that politics don’t affect us among the students at NSU, which is very frustrating.”

Amongst the fifteen post-Civil War amendments, four of them gave voting rights to different groups of citizens. Now, American citizens across the country have the right to vote. Each election has the potential to change the future of a political world. That, in turn, changes the way our government and each state government operates. The 2018 election includes legislative elections covering 99 chambers.

“It is important that all people and students exercise their right to vote,” said Laci Klinger, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma managing attorney. “This is an opportunity for your voice to be heard.  Many [people] these days are constantly screaming about what they feel are all the wrongs and injustices taking place in the world.  Instead of lashing out at people with differing views, use your voice by voting.”

Klinger is an alumni of NSU. She believes exercising her vote is one of the most important things she can do as a citizen. The ballet for the Oklahoma elections includes five state questions and multiple positions for federal, state, county and city offices. With state questions that cover eye care, education and crime, the midterms are expected to play a big role in the state of Oklahoma.

“We are the future of our country,” said Fletcher. “There are more of us than any other generation, yet those minority age groups are allowed to make decisions for us because we don’t show up. The future of our careers, our planet and our children’s education are at stake. We need to have a say in what kind of country we’ll grow old in.”

Having a voice in your country is not always an option like it is in the United States. Voting is one way citizens exercise their rights.

It's not just voting, it's engaging,” said Dr. Fritz Laux, economics professor . “Students should study the issues, think about them, and study the candidates. Whether your interested in tribal sovereignty, economic development, education reform, or increasing and reducing the size of government programs, politics matter. Political decisions do and will affect all of us.”
Each state legislation is different. Oklahoma permits early voting, which passed an online voter system in April 2015. Citizens across the U. S. that are eighteen years of age or older are eligible to vote.

Students should vote no matter how young they are because the future of our government is going to be heavily relied upon by us and our decisions made now,” said Sarah Ferrell, Tahlequah senior. “There are so many ways we could all make a difference in not only our communities, but our nation as well.”

Ferrell is a intern under Markwayne Mullin in a congressional office in Washington, D.C. During her internship, she learned about her voice and has developed a better understanding of voicing her beliefs in a political world.

“Since becoming an intern, I’ve learned so much about how important your voice can be,” said Ferrell. “You may believe that no one is listening, but someone always is. I’ve been able to learn honestly how important it is to vote. You never know how your one vote could affect the results.”

Voter registration is required twenty-five days before the election, and several outreach groups promote student voter registration.

“We have an obligation to stand up for what we believe to be right,” said Klinger. “It is just one vote, but your vote can make a difference.  In my opinion, if you don't vote it invalidates your arguments in favor of your views.  So, do your research and vote accordingly.”

The Oklahoma general election early voting is November 1-2. Election day is on Nov. 6. People who are eligible to vote are called to their home county to voice their vote. Students and community members can also go to ok.gov/elections to see the Oklahoma ballot and vote online.

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