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BG Falcon Media

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February 16, 2024

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A vote is a voice in local politics

Have you voted yet? Today is election day, and the clock is ticking nearer to the poll closing time at 7:30 p.m.

You must be rolling your eyes right now.

You might think your vote doesn’t matter.

And besides, why bother when your vote won’t send anyone new into the White House? Right?

Wrong.

The people that you elect to sit on city council will affect you more than anyone elected to sit on Capitol Hill.

City council makes decisions about your trek to campus.

Since last election year, the city council people decided to enforce where you can ride your bike to campus. Bikers who don’t ride in the streets now face stricter penalties.

The council also decides where students can or cannot live.

After all, you won’t move into one of those swanky, new apartment complexes until city council OK’s the project and zoning.

And you’ve heard of the 3-person rule: that no more than 3 unrelated people may live in a house in a residential area.

City council has the power to maintain or change those rules, and other rules that affect students just as closely.

With local officials influencing students’ lives in such ways, one could argue that a vote in a local election is more important than a one in a national election.

Your vote is your voice in local politics.

The person that you elect will speak on your behalf about issues like these.

There are state issues that need to be addressed as well, including Issues 2, 3, 4 and 5. These issues will affect state politics for years to come.

This year could be your last chance to give input on these issues. Whatever the outcome of this vote, it may be permanent.

If nothing else, keep in mind that people in other countries die for the rights that you have, including the right to vote. Women have not even had the right for a full century yet.

And voting can become a habit. Once you begin to exercise their right to vote, you may develop a lifelong habit, one which can encourage and inspire friends, family and perhaps someday your own children to do the same.

As a young person, too much is at stake to opt not to vote. These people and policies will be affecting your life and the lives of your children for years to come.

So let’s send a message to city officials that students will continue to be an overpowering voice in local politics.

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