Opinion: NYU urges you to vote, and so do I

As an international student, I applaud the NYU Votes campaign, but it’s up to you to go vote.

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Victoria Liu

(Illustration by Victoria Liu)

Valentina Plevisani, Staff Writer

The midterm elections are approaching, and if you’re an American citizen, this Nov. 8 it’s time for you to vote. Now is your time to elect who will make decisions on your behalf in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

NYU implemented the NYU Votes campaign to facilitate the distribution of voting information and promote civic duty among students. The NYU Votes website contains information on voter registration, how to cast an absentee ballot, how to choose a voting method, and even how to sign up to receive voting reminders.

NYU Votes’ facilitation guide includes reminder emails, like the one sent out this week with the byline, “We’ve got your deadlines.” The email contains important deadlines and encourages the recipients to register by this Sunday, Oct. 9, since registration deadlines in some states start as early as then. It even includes a reminder for the four-part event organized by NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics titled “2022 Midterms Seminar Series” starting Oct. 12.

NYU can provide all the resources for you to vote this November, but it’s you who has to meet the deadlines and cast your ballot. Staying informed on election candidates is essential for voting, and voting is essential to democracy.

One of the reasons I encourage you to vote is because I cannot vote in U.S. elections. As someone born in Peru, a country where democracy is always on the verge of collapse, I see voting as a privilege and truly appreciate NYU’s efforts to highlight civic duties.

In all of my classes at the university, I encounter mostly politically opinionated and critical American classmates, which is great. So then, when election season rolls around, why is it that turnouts are so low among young people?

Using voter data files from 41 states, Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement estimated that approximately 50% of those ages 18 to 29 voted in the 2020 presidential election. Despite the 11% increase from 2016, this age group still had the lowest voter turnout among all age groups, according to the United States Census Bureau.

A study conducted by The New York Times took the general population voter turnout data of 24 countries and compared it to the U.S. youth voter turnout; the general population voting rates exceeded U.S. youth voting rates for every single country. Why aren’t we voting?

I urge you to go register to vote and cast your absentee or in-person ballot on time. NYU Votes is giving you all the resources. Make the effort to change the political climate for the better.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Valentina Plevisani at [email protected]