Make It Count

Cartoon by Stefanie Diers.

Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each won their party’s presidential primary in New York this week.

At SUNY New Paltz, students waited in a line that stretched out the door of the large polling room to exercise their right to vote. For many, this primary marked the first time they were able to do so.

The amount of students that came out to vote on Tuesday was of the same capacity of students that waited in long lines for Springfest tickets the day before. The fact that our fellow young people are as excited about voting as they are to see popular musicians perform at our annual spring concert is an encouraging sight.

To the dismay of Bernie Sanders supporters at SUNY New Paltz, the loss Tuesday is starting to bring feelings of discouragement to once very enthusiastic and young New Yorkers.

We at The New Paltz Oracle applaud all who waited at least 40 minutes to vote on Tuesday, and urge young New Yorkers who vivaciously support Sanders to hold onto hope and not stray from political involvement due to his loss.

With social media’s rapid rise in the past five years, it’s clear many college students and young adults have been extremely involved in the election and show their awareness of pressing issues in an impressive way.

Although “their guy Bernie” may not get the Democratic nomination, Sanders supporters can still vote in November’s general election for an independent or Green Party candidate who is in line with their views. Researching the policies and goals of these underdogs is a way to see who may be representing your views. And if you wish to stick with the Democratic party, look into Clinton’s platform to see if it’s worthy of your vote.

This election will determine the future of this country for young adults entering the workforce, and it is exceedingly important for people to remain involved in shaping this future.

New York is one of only 11 states that have closed primaries. This means that you must be affiliated and registered with a political party in order to cast a vote. To cast a vote in the primaries for a different political party than which you were previously registered, you would have had to make the change by Oct. 9.

Over these six-plus months, the presidential race really begins to heat up and opinions often develop/change during this time. However, because they already missed the October deadline, many were unable to vote in their intended party’s presidential primary this year.

Furthermore, people who are less politically active tend to pay little attention to campaigns until the time to vote approaches. Consequently, those who become interested in voting late in the game are then excluded in the primaries.

We at The New Paltz Oracle think closed primaries create a restrictive voting environment due to these harsh deadlines, therefore discouraging many to vote – even in general elections.

We believe automatic registration, a reform that dramatically increased voting turnout in states like California and Oregon, is a groundbreaking form of modernized voting that encourages political involvement.

New York should adopt this reform and register citizens to vote upon granting their driver’s license. Those who choose not to get a driver’s license should still follow their civic duty and register to vote.

Voting is a civic duty that should be easier for citizens to fulfill. With a less complicated process, voter turnout and political participation could increase.

During a time of social revolution and political youth involvement, remaining informed and coming out to vote in the general election is imperative. Even if you were not able to vote in the primaries, cast your vote in the general election. And if you are not yet registered, get online to New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles website to do so before the Oct. 14 deadline.

It may not always seem like it, but every vote counts.


Editorials represent the views of the majority of the editorial board. Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz.