Voting. While I’d love to write a whole article on Halloween and its lore (trust me I would), we should discuss what’s on everyone’s mind, as fast approaching ballots are due and every station is tuned to policy discussion and hearings. For college students,it is an especially complicated discussion when it comes to home and school. College is the bridge between first home and adulthood, the place you come from and where you’re going. So in the inbetween, who are your senators.
For myself, I have stuck with my Vermont politics, choosing not to register as a voter in Massachusetts. As someone who wants to participate in an informed way, knowing the issues of my home state better than that of my school state has always seemed like the best bet. At the same time it’s hard to feel the desperate need to vote when, you’re a liberal coming from one of the bluest states on the map.
This year the race looks closer than it has been in years, a close primary resulting in 24,042 votes for Phil Scott, running Republican in the gubernatorial election, and 27,622 votes for Christine Hallquist. However, I’ve always wondered how it feels to decide between a state like Arizona, Texas, or North Carolina where a vote speaks volumes, and the inbetween of Massachusetts.
After the 2016 election and the growing divide between rationality and policy, there has been an increasing push on all sides for voter registration and participation. With this comes news coverage. If I had a nickel for everytime I heard the phrase Fake News, I could pay off my student debt. With sensationalist reporting, flashes of week to week headlines spouting buzzwords is what most people see in their feeds, whether accurate or not people like to feel they know what’s topical rather than what’s accurate.
From the Kavanaugh hearing to ongoing reporting on political races or president mandates, it is easy to get distracted by shocking pull quotes. But we all should keep in mind that there is always more to an issue than the surface value. It needs to be remembered that a punchy headline isn’t more important than facts, than the content, than the information that should be focused on. You can grab attention without compromising words.
So why am I rambling to you around it? Because when an article doesn’t give you the answers you need or a politician works their way around a question, you can do your own research. Don’t settle, don’t be distracted or redirected. Don’t just call your senators, know them, know your government and your dates. Whether your home, absent, or not even sure if you feel able to vote, it’s better to ask questions and take control now, than feel helpless or unsure later.