Opinion — Why you should vote in this election

Kate Gunville, Contributing Writer

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Here in Michigan, anyone can register to vote at a polling location on election day. 

Now is the time to make your voice heard by using the tools at your disposal. The midterm election season is in full swing, and voting is the most tangible way to make your mark. As a result of this election, policy decisions will be made that will directly affect your life whether you support them or not.

Thanks to the right to vote, now is the time that you can impact those outcomes. 

I have been working in this field for a few years now. I have heard just about every reason why people are not voting, but below are the top three.

  • I am too busy

As college students, there is no denying that we are busy. But voting is not much of a time commitment at all, requiring maybe 15 minutes from start to finish. You can register and vote at the same time on Nov. 8. 

  • I don’t know who to vote for

Yes, it can be tough to gather anything of value from all of the commercials and literature surrounding elections. I recommend visiting the Michigan Voter Information Center to see a sample ballot, and the League of Women Voters of Michigan created a non-partisan voter guide that breaks down all of the races and proposals within the state. 

You do not have to head to the polls unsure, and there are many more amazing resources out there for you to find more information regarding the midterm election.

  • My vote won’t even matter

Listen, I hear this and I understand where this feeling is coming from. But elections are decided by insanely close margins. National Geographic recounts the margins of the 2000 presidential election, in which George W. Bush won Florida by just 0.009%.

 That equates to 537 voters – all individual people that made the conscious decision to vote. 

It can feel like your one vote does not affect anything in the grand scheme of things, but it does. It also shares your opinion numerically, no matter the outcome, by showing your personal approval or rejection of candidates and ballot proposals. 

If I can only convince you to vote in one election, this is the one where your vote carries the most weight. In midterms, there is always less turnout. Therefore, each individual vote carries more power since the pool of votes is smaller. 

Furthermore, we are located in Michigan, which is a battleground or swing state. This means that compared to other states, the outcome of our elections is unpredictable. The margins of victory are incredibly close in nearly every competitive race. 

The elections in Michigan are some of the most watched, along with Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona. Nothing is certain in Michigan and things often move across both sides of the political spectrum.

All this goes to say that voting is incredibly important and information regarding this election is easily accessible. I like to think of voting as a habit, and the national elections are every two years. Get in the habit of showing up and voting for every single one. 

Editor’s Note: The North Wind is committed to offering a free and open public forum of ideas, publishing a wide range of viewpoints to accurately represent the NMU student body. This piece is a guest column, written by a Northern Michigan University student, faculty member, or community member. It expresses the personal opinions of the individual writer, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the North Wind. The North Wind reserves the right to avoid publishing columns that do not meet the North Wind’s publication standards. To submit a guest column contact the opinion editor at [email protected] with the subject North Wind Guest Column.