As ashamed as I am to admit it, I didn’t vote for my hometown’s local elections. The logistics of squeezing it in between classes and parts of my daily routine simply escaped my grasp. I take slight solace in knowing I’m not the only one to pass out on voting. But not enough solace to wash my hands of it all.
Poll results from civicyouth.org claim a sad 19.9% of college students voted in the 2014 presidential election. Understanding that a presidential elections attract a significantly greater amount of interest than local elections, this statistic must be lower. In fact, usually about 20% of a municipality’s citizens vote in a local election. Drawing from these two, it’s hard not to ask if only 4% of Rutgers students voted this November.
To me, 4% sounds optimistic. Knowing how busy we are and how voting isn’t really a habit for us, local elections probably pass by without a blink from students. And this is disappointing because naturally students are interested in making educated decisions; and voters of that kind are the best kind.
Now sometimes if we don’t vote, we face consequences, which my hometown might face: a local ice-cream shop owner was elected as a Board of Education representative. I loved his business’ ice cream, but I absolutely no idea what qualifications he had other than injecting a “businessman’s mind into government.” But I guess when you smile, shake a lot of hands, and keep the conversation only on “resident’s money,” people stop caring about qualifications.
I truly hope that Rutgers students head to the polls for the 2016 election. There’s another businessman eying up the Oval Office—and his name need not be mention.