Story by Kirsten Fedorowicz, Saint Reporter
Photo courtesy of pbs.org
November is one of my least favorite times of the year. I love the green of summer, the sun and endless spread of blue lake water. I love fall, looking over outlooks where you can see firework leaves for miles and miles. By the time we get to November, where all the leaves are on the ground and the snow is occasional, the world looks kind of dead and hopeless. I always feel kind of gross in November, because it is an in-between stage between seasons.
I know a lot of people feel that way about this election.
I know people who claim to be protesting by not voting as well as people who make jokes about both presidential candidates. A lot of people feel like the outlook is bleak, but there’s a lot of potential.
This presidential election, for the first time, every millennial is old enough to vote. As a population group, we are 31% of the eligible electorate, matching the giant generation of the Baby Boomers. However, only 46% of eligible Millennials voted in the last election, where 72% of the Silent Generation (the one above the baby boomers) showed up at polling places. I love older people, and I value their opinions, wisdom, and life experiences. I just don’t think they should be making all the decisions.
That’s what voting is. It’s expressing your values through elected officials, your attempt at picking the person who will make living your life better. I know a lot of people who say it doesn’t matter, that one vote can’t change an outcome. I want to remind you that in the Presidential election, Michigan is a swing state. I want to remind you that your opinions matter. Maybe you are one voice. One whisper is better than no sound at all.
You need to vote.
It is legal to register in Grand Rapids with your school address, and come November, you can easily vote in the Grand Rapids precinct. If you are registered at home, make sure to fill out an absentee ballot form, found online.
I’m going to vote, but I still need to do research, and there is nothing wrong with that. There are people on the ballot besides Clinton and Trump; more at stake than the Presidential election. Who we pair in the Senate and House of Representatives affects the way decisions are made. Instead of checking out facebook, scroll through information on the rest of the ballot.
I know November is a bleak month, but there’s a lot of potential there. Heavy or light snows, freezing or slightly-less-so Winters. We can’t sway the weather at all, but there is a chance of swaying the political future.
You need to vote.