Electing To Be Heard

It’s that time of year again – it’s time to register to vote.
We’ve written this editorial before, countless times in fact, but now more than ever political fever is rushing through the cold October air, and if you don’t act fast you’ll be left behind in the barren wasteland of political unawareness.

We at The New Paltz Oracle feel that every student, both on and off campus, should be registered to vote locally and should make every effort possible to secure their right as an American citizen before the Oct. 12 registration deadline approaches for our NYPIRG chapter.

Last presidential election, young voters came out to the voting booths in record numbers. In fact, the second highest number of voters between the ages of 18 to 29 came out to vote in 2008. This needs to continue, but unfortunately recent elections have not had such lively outcomes.

We understand that this election cycle has left many of those voters distraught and disillusioned with the political atmosphere — the feeling of hope and change has largely been deflated by partisan bickering and a sense of standstill that is evident in almost any young voter’s responses to the election this time around.

But, that means now our vote counts more than ever. In election cycles since the 2008 presidential elections, on-campus voting has turned in dreadful numbers and left volunteers in the Student Union Multi-Purpose Room scratching their heads.

If we SUNY New Paltz students are as politically conscious and progressive as we love to boast, then it is time to reverse these numbers and have our voices heard come November.

We have activist clubs across campus screaming at every walking member of the campus community to take the mind-numbingly easy second to register to vote in New Paltz. If you are walking to class one morning, take the extra second to register — these volunteers are taking time out of their day to convince you to partake in the most basic form of American citizenship, the least you can do is make their hard work worth it.

NYPIRG has done an excellent job in trying to get students to register to vote. They said since the beginning of the semester they have collected 1,400 newly registered students and are now just 100 people shy of their goal. This is certainly uplifting news, but registering is only the first step.

It is important to be politically aware, not only every four years when it becomes trendy to talk politics, but all year, every year. Please take the time to pick up your local newspapers, read stories online, talk to your fellow students and become aware of the issues at hand.

We implore students to take a few moments every day and learn how to not only become well versed in the various plaguing issues that are constricting our country, but also learn how to contextualize them.

While some students may have already registered, we urge you to consider re-registering to allow you to vote in New Paltz. Absentee ballots and reminders are simply not enough to get many students to vote from college. Registering in New Paltz will not only force you to get up and vote, but will make you an active member in the larger community voice — which is something all students should strive for.