September 20, 2022 was National Voter Registration Day. About 150 political science students and faculty flooded the Drill Field, YMCA plaza, Old Main, the Union, and other campus buildings to register students to vote. I was there with them. Personally, I lost count of how many people I asked, “Are you registered to vote?” Can you guess what the number one response was? “Yes, I am heading there right now to vote”. Last I checked, the 2022 midterm elections weren’t being held on the Mississippi State University campus that day, since the elections are Tuesday, November 8.
Little did I know, these students going to the tents scattered around the Drill Field were voting for MSU Homecoming Queen and King. It was mind-blowing how 90% of the answers I received were regarding Homecoming votes. It was encouraging to see students interested in voting in that election, but it was clear that they were not interested or aware about voting in the 2022 midterm election.
Young voters are the future. College students should vote. MSU students need to vote. As cliche as it sounds, “You make time for what you want to make time for,” is true. Why not do the same for something that genuinely impacts you, your life, and the lives of others if you can find the time to get out of bed, travel to campus, and cast a vote for something that has no impact on you personally?
I cast my vote prior to election day via an absentee ballot. So why did I vote? You often hear, "Why do you even bother? Do you really think your vote matters?" Well, yes, yes I do. I know it matters and so does your vote. To those who say, “My vote does not matter,” I ask: what kind of representation do we expect when us younger people will not put in the effort to vote?
I get it, it is hard for young people to vote. Some don’t have time, transportation, or just simply lack the knowledge to justify going out to cast a ballot. However, there is a ton of resources that can help. In Mississippi alone, we have in-person absentee voting, mail-in absentee voting, and numerous websites that can provide an abundance of information on elections, the candidates, and the various ways you can vote.
Voting is an important way to make my voice heard. Voting is my way of knowing I did my civic duty for the improvement of my life, and in my opinion, the lives of others. I also vote because I know firsthand that elections are secure. I recently visited the Oktibbeha election office with questions about how votes will be counted so the election is secure. Election officials showed me how they prepare for elections and how many counter measures each voting machine has, making voter fraud nearly impossible. My classmates, professor, and I asked every possible question that could make voter fraud obtainable. We found that, no matter what you try, there is some security measure in place, not only in regard to the machines themselves, but for the poll workers, interns, and anyone else involved.
Voting is your way to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions and let your voice be heard, so get out there and vote!