Nov. 6 is V-Day. It’s the day people over 18 should head to the polls and tell the government what they think. It’s the day voters duke it out for the gubernatorial election of their favorite candidate: Republic Gov. Ernie Fletcher or former attorney general and former lieutenant governor Democrat Steve Beshear. But, sadly, a cluster of college students neglects the voting booth.
In November 2006, a little less than 25 percent of registered voters aged 17-24 voted. That number is very disappointing. Not even a quarter of traditional college-aged citizens are voting, which means our government is not hearing our collective voice. We complain the government overlooks college students, but statistics show students overlook the government. Maybe the governor would pay more attention to students if they returned the favor.
Students need to cast their vote Tuesday because the governor’s race affects students in several ways.
The governor has a hand in determining how much state money universities receive. He or she can approve a tuition decrease or increase and hand out scholarships through the Governor’s Scholars program. It’s worth your time to check out the candidates’ stance on higher education funding.
Of course, college life usually makes it hard to travel home on voting day and cast your ballot, but the county clerk’s office where you live has options to help ease the burden. You can visit the clerk’s office in your hometown any day before Tuesday’s election (keep in mind most offices are not open on the weekend.) So, if you can’t make the trip home Tuesday, check your schedule to see if you have time to vote Friday or Monday. And don’t forget to bring your photo identification with you.
We don’t want to shove our candidate-of-choice down your throats. But if you are not familiar with the candidates, check out statewide articles on newspaper Web sites or watch video of the gubernatorial debate on the WYMT Web site.
Then go home and cast your ballot. When the election is over, you non-voters shouldn’t complain about the government.
You lost that right when you gave into curtain shyness. The voter’s curtain, that is.