The 2018 Oklahoma midterm elections will take place on Tuesday, November 6 and many other states also have their elections in early November. Although it is now too late to register to vote, it is never too late to become an informed and active citizen. For those who are registered, this election serves as a way to be involved in a process that could change the political climate of the country.
Midterms elections take place every four years, in the middle of each presidential term. During the 2018 midterms, there are many offices opening up on the national and local level. According to USA.gov, these include every seat in the House of Representatives, a third of all of the Senate, and 36 state governors.
The midterm elections do not get the same level of attention as the Presidential Elections, but they can be just as impactful. This election is important to both parties because there is a chance the Republicans could lose the congressional majority that they currently hold. This serves as the motivation to get out and vote for people of each party.
The deciding voice in this election could easily come from all of the new voters who seem to be more politically active than ever. As a generation that has more access to information than ever before, they are more aware of social and political issues than any generation before them. For SNU student Jason Patalano, this awareness is what lead him to vote. He believes that voting is the best option to fix political culture in America.
Jason is among many who believe that every vote counts, and as a college student living outside of his home state, he was able to take advantage of the resources that he had to make sure that he could remain politically active while at college. Jason was able to contact an official from his town and easily receive an absentee ballot for the midterm election.
For most SNU students who are from outside of Oklahoma, it is not too late to obtain and vote with an absentee ballot. For example, in Texas, the absentee ballot can be requested 11 days before the election, and the ballot can be mailed up to the day of the election. It is an easy process and most states allow voters to apply for an absentee ballot online. It is as simple as googling the name of your home state and “absentee ballot.”
Voting seems like an easy process, but remembering to stay aware of politics can be difficult for the average college student. Keeping up with the news and staying informed is important for those who are going to vote and where you can get your information is even more important. For SNU student Troy Vernier, the easiest way to stay informed is through Twitter and Youtube. For Jason, it is his friends from his hometown that keep him informed on the local political climate.
Even if the opportunity to register as a voter has passed, the opportunity to remain informed and engaged has not. For those who are registered in Oklahoma, get out on November 6 and vote or send in your absentee ballots for those out of state. For those who are not registered, there will be more elections– be sure to register soon. It is important as a school and a generation that we take advantage of the resources we have to stay as involved as possible. During this election and those to come, our voice matters.
(Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash)