Imagine you and few of your friends are in a swimming pool with a bunch of little kids. The lifeguard blows his whistle and asks for a show of hands of how many people think it’s okay to pee in the pool. You and your friends are definitely against that idea, but you’re busy horsing around in the deep end-and don’t bother to voice your opinion. Several tiny hands shoot up. And as unfair as it sounds, their majority vote wins. Minutes later, you’re swimming in piss.
While the situation isn’t exactly the same, the idea is all too familiar. College students are one of the most vocal, politically conscious group of people in the nation. But election after election shows that, despite their political ideas, college students aren’t backing it up with voting numbers.
Political analysts are quick to point fingers at our generation and call us lazy or apathetic.
But laziness and apathy are hardly the best explanations for the lack of 20-year-old voters on Election Day. Anyone who writes off an entire generation to oversleeping and frat parties isn’t really thinking the problem through.
Even at a suitcase college like Eastern, most students are at least an hour or two from home. And making it to the county courthouse during the week to register to vote probably isn’t possible. Even if it were, it would cost a week’s worth of parental allowance in gas and three or four hours of study time.
For most people, that’s too high a price to pay for one measly vote they think will be lost in a sea of millions of others-especially when all their friends aren’t paying the price either.
For other students, the trip back to their home county is impossible when they’re trapped under an avalanche of homework, or working extra hours on Election Day so they can still afford to attend college.
So the most straightforward method of voting is inherently more difficult for college students, primarily because they are not lazy.
But don’t start thinking the mileage from here to your home is getting you off the voting hook yet. Fortunately for college students, there’s the option of an absentee ballot.
There are some tricks to absentee voting, but nothing a college student can’t handle.
The major issue with absentee voting is that you have to get on the ball early. You need to get your ballot mailed to you in time to vote. Look up your County Clerk’s number and give them a call. You can find a comprehensive list of County Clerks at http://elect.ky.gov/countyclerks.htm. Now you have no excuse not to.
Get your County Clerk to mail you a ballot, and then use it.
Democracy is great in theory. But it is better in practice. And while it’s funny to complain about the fact that the president can’t pronounce nuclear, it’s also sad that only 64 percent of the nation’s eligible citizens voted in the 2004 election.
Bush got a little over half of that 64 percent. Translation: the leader of the free world was chosen by the voices of less than a third of eligible voters.
Now that the Progress has defended your honor as hard-working college students, don’t let us down. Make sure Eastern makes a difference this election.
Yes, jumping through government hurdles to vote on an absentee ballot takes effort. But if you don’t, you’ll end up swimming in piss-and won’t have any right to complain.