The world is no stranger to the onslaught of political conflict that has faced the United States in the past couple of years — least of all, Siena Saints. Since the 2016 presidential election, this country has experienced profound social change to a degree never witnessed before. There is no debating that social media and other advancements in communication have catalyzed the hyper-partisanship we experience today in our elected government and in our own communities. Although it is saddening to witness today’s civil divide between colleagues, peers and friends, it is important that the public harnesses the energy from this political disarray and organizes it into voting encouragement and awareness.
Although the New York voter registration deadline for the upcoming midterm elections has passed, it is not too late to apply for an absentee ballot. For New York, absentee ballot applications are due one day before Election Day in person, or seven days, by mail, before Election day. Absentee ballots have to be received by these deadlines, not just postmarked. If you need information on where to send your absentee ballot applications, vote.org is an excellent resource for any questions regarding the voting process. Vote.org includes resources for all states, not just New York State.
For those not aware, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election on Nov. 6. Although several incumbents have secured their reelection, there are still many unstable seats that could potentially be overturned and help shift the majority in the House. Tensions are certainly high, given this information and the only way to influence the outcome is by exercising your civic duty as a citizen of the United States.
Although the political debates sponsored on campus are most certainly beneficial, it is important that we, as Saints, express our voices by voting. Any and every point we raise, any discourse we have with our peers, and any self-reflection we might have on our political ideologies, it is important that one votes in order to make sure that our opinions are represented. When we do not vote, what results is a misrepresentation of what the American people really need. We need to vote, not only for ourselves but also for those who cannot due to social and economic pressures. I hope we all practice what we preach, come Nov. 6. It is vital that we, especially younger voters, have our voices heard. It’s our turn to take the baton and shape the nature of politics for the coming generations.