Exams aren’t the only thing students will be preparing for next week. Many students are planning to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, and are eager to head to the polls.
“I figured why not. Every vote counts even if some people think that it doesn’t. I think it’s important that we exercise our right to vote, especially as young people,” Sophomore Imani Pugh said.
Foreign exchange student Joe Schafhauser said it was a long process to register and is proud to vote next week.
“It’s the right that everyone has and you should use it,” Schafhauser said. “If you have the ability to make a change with your vote, you should do it.”
Schafhauser is not the only first-time voter on campus. Freshman Kate Hill said she is ready to cast her vote.
“I think that this is a really important election coming up and this is the first time that I’m actually able to vote, so I just want my voice to be heard,” she said.
Political Science Professor Michael Hagen said it is also your right to not vote. He said there are plenty of reasons why voter turnout for young people is low.
“I think that has more to do with not feeling as if they have a bit of stake in the outcome of elections,” he said.
Each member of the house of representatives is up for election this year, along with 1/3rd of all senators.
Hagen added that the turnout for a midterm election is lower than a presidential, therefore any group of people voting in large numbers will have a greater impact.
“There seems to me to be issues on the agenda right now that have to be of much concern to young people who are going to be around for a long time to come,” he said. “I would think that this would be a good moment for millennials to get involved.”
Climate change, immigration and the rights of Transpeople are just a few issues students are concerned about coming into this election. Many students hope the candidate they elect will start policy change around them.
PA voters can find out their voting location at the official PA voters website.