Sunday, July 21, 2024

Editorial: Voting impacts local community

Yearly elections are often overshadowed by presidential elections, but they are just as important, especially midterms. Midterm elections were held this year Tuesday, Nov. 8. The results of these polls can easily sway the political landscape for the remainder of President Joe Biden’s term.

Banners and political ads line the streets of  Broad, Cornelia and Route Three asking to “write in” a candidate. Writing in is when a candidate is not on the initial ballot, but voters can write in their name to be counted in the election. This is how presumably thousands of Americans voted for the dead gorilla, Harambe, in the 2016 presidential election. Joshua Eck, spokesman for Ohio secretary of state, the home state for Harambe, commented how most of these votes would be rendered invalid. 

You aren’t required to physically be there at the polling center to write in names either, as there are absentee ballots. Ballots that you mail in to be accounted for. Students can vote in their hometowns with this method, but any SUNY Plattsburgh student that is eligible may participate in a Clinton County election. 

Manhattanville College published an article which states: “The U.S. Census Bureau considers students to be residents of their college community. Students contribute to the college community in many valuable ways. They work as volunteers in a host of civic organizations, help to create jobs in the community, bolster the local economy, and pay sales and gasoline taxes.” Manhattanville College also shared how students can ensure their representation is accounted for in their college town: “If you are concerned about how you will be treated when submitting your voter registration application in your college community, check with your campus student affairs office, [New York Public Interest Research Group] chapter, or other student organizations involved in political activity. You can also check with the town/city clerk or the county board of elections.”

Unlike presidents, representatives from the House are re-elected every two years. This term duration leads to the importance of midterm elections. Representatives are the individuals in Congress who propose federal bills to be presented to the president. Important matters such as bodily autonomy, gay rights, trans rights and antiracist legislature can be hugely affected by representatives in the house and their beliefs.

New York State has 27 representatives within the House. The entirety of New York and its values fall upon these 27 shoulders. Researching those on your ballot is quintessential in exercising your right to the full extent. There is also the option to vote for a third party, however third party politicians struggle to establish a foundation in U.S. politics and to be elected.

Sheriffs are also up for election or reelection this polling season. Sheriffs vary by county, with varying responsibilities.

There are other positions for election as well, which is an ample opportunity to really shape Plattsburgh to what you hope and want to see for the future. You, as a student, may not remain here long term, but you do leave an impact for the short duration you do attend college. Make that time count, and vote this election season. If you have not yet done so, register to vote so you can participate in the next election. If you are unable to vote, encourage your friends who can.

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