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More options for West Virginia voters mean no excuses

By Sasha Grishina


The Daily Atheneum

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The United States will be deciding the foreseeable future of the world on Nov. 8.

Yes, the world, for it is impossible to overestimate the significance of the U.S. in terms of international politics.

West Virginia has done a couple of things to ensure everyone has an opportunity to vote, and this year the state began accepting online voter registrations. Already, 30,111 new voters have registered online. More are expected before the Oct. 18 registration deadline.

Also, West Virginia became one of only five states to approve automatic voter registration. This means that citizens are registered to vote when interacting with government agencies, like the DMV, unless they explicitly opt out.

In one of the most polarizing elections yet, college students should be some of the loudest voices on the frontlines, but in the last national election 18-24-year-olds in our state were the worst voting group in the country. Only 23 percent of this age group voted for president in 2012.

Nov. 8 will be a day off for many, but should only be such after voting. An indifferent society has no moral right to complain after ignoring the ability to shape its destiny.

This election for college students is just that, shaping our destiny.

Issues concerning this country should matter enough, but the effect on college students should motivate every Mountaineer to make it to the polls. Those who ignore this duty usually stress that “one voice never really matters,” “you don’t have a strong enough opinion either way” or (the worst) “it doesn’t make a difference who gets elected.”

The U.S. isn’t the only country to face these attitudes and the issue of voter turnout, we can see the results of this indifference around the world.

Russia faced voter indifference during the parliamentary election on Sept. 18, with more than 60 percent of voters not showing up to the polls. Only 29 percent of registered voters in Moscow voted.

The next month will be chaotic as the national election comes to a close, but there is still plenty of time for students to get informed, register and have a say in their future.

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