By: Sarah McEachern
“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” – George Jean Nathan
When the founding fathers of the United States of America signed the Declaration of Independence, they were agreeing to a statement which declared that no man should ever have to live under tyranny. In the opening paragraphs they state that man has certain unalienable rights and “in order to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
The only power that any government should have is from the willingness of its people to submit to that governance. Or at least, that was the understanding in 1776. In a democracy today, the same still holds true. In the USA, we are granted the right to vote on who will lead our country. We are privileged with the opportunity to grant our “governed consent” to our nation’s leaders. From who will sit on the local county school board to the President of the United States, we are able to state our opinions on who we feel would best serve in their respective offices.
As students of Franciscan University of Steubenville and as citizens of the United States of America, it is our duty and our right to vote for who will serve in office; especially in a year in which the election will decide the head of our government and the direction it will be steered.
If, as a student, you have not registered to vote and find that you wish to, the process is simple. There are multiple websites that can assist you with the process. Registertovote.org is a non profit organization that simplifies the process. Each state has different requirements for their voters, but all are easily accessible from the main site. The most basic requirements are that one is a U.S. Citizen who is or will be 18 years of age by Election Day. Further instructions can be found by looking up your state’s board of elections website.
Many who attend Franciscan are from out of state and may not be sure how to vote when they are several hundred to several thousand miles from their designated polling station. In every state, you have the ability to request an absentee ballot. This is a process in which instead of going to a polling station to vote, your ballot is sent to you via mail and you send it back with your decision. Many times this can be requested online through your state board of elections website, but in others you may need to send in a hard-copy letter stating your request.
A democracy is a form of government in which its citizens are granted the ability to rule themselves. When America fought for independence, this is what they fought for: the right to decide for themselves, by majority, what was right for themselves.
In order to gain the majority on whatever view you might have, it is crucial that you state your opinion for it. It is vital that you vote.