#FOCUSDEMOCRACY: EDITORIAL: Your Vote Is Your Obligation

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Published October 8, 2020
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The Montclarion
Ian Long | The Montclarion

Last Tuesday, the United States of America celebrated National Voter Registration Day, an annual holiday dedicated to the encouragement of preparation to participate in the upcoming November elections.

This yearly reminder to vote serves as a wake-up call for all Americans to exercise their fundamental right as citizens of a democracy, an exercise ever immensely crucial to the future of this country.

Earlier last month, The Montclarion released an editorial promoting the importance of activism by young people and how activism is an imperative ingredient to shaping a prosperous future for one’s self and how casting a vote is one of the most significant outlets for doing so.

As the nation is dealing with the empty Supreme Court seat left after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, those we elect into office have the power to affect our lives in monumental ways.

With President Trump’s recent nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, a large portion of the country has been left fearful of the future on issues like women’s reproductive rights, the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community as well as accessibility to affordable health care.

While appointments to the Supreme Court remain lifelong, it is clear to see how important the political leaning of the president is to the outcome of federal law.

Therefore, the right to vote must be exercised to its fullest capacity at the federal level and, additionally, in every other realm of American public office.

For college students, entering into the workforce with one’s fresh, hard earned degree is no easy task, neither physically nor mentally. The success you strive to achieve, whether it be monetary, personal or what have you, can be largely dependent upon who holds office in your respective geography.

Those elected into office directly affect the lives of those they lead. For students at Montclair State University, members of the Student Government Association are elected by the student body and are responsible for representing the student body when connecting with university administration.

Furthermore, the state governor’s office holds a consequential leverage in determining state allocated funds to Montclair State, which in turn results in how much money the university has to spend. This ultimately is a direct factor in the increase or decrease of tuition and room and board costs.

The right to vote is a rudimentary function in the livelihood of every member of any democratic citizenry. Whether your position on the political spectrum lies on the right, left or in between, your citizenship provides you with the obligation to make your beliefs active in governmental function.

No matter what your perspective prioritizes, you have the opportunity to support the person you believe will uphold your own personal ideals during their time in office and contribute to making society what you believe to be better than it was beforehand. And if the person you last voted for is not living up to the image they had presented, you hold the right to correct that vote.

At a time in American history where so many things remain pending from the forthcoming timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic to the continued sharp political polarization across the nation, elections remain one thing marked on the calendar every year.

Regardless of our future hanging in the seemingly unforeseeable balance, every American has the annual opportunity to make one thing certain from the White House all the way down to small-town mayor and councils: their vote.

So do it. Register to vote before Oct. 13 to be eligible in New Jersey to vote in the November election.

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