With Nov. 8 right around the corner, the campus community is gearing up for Election Day where many students will be casting their very first votes in a presidential race. While this election has been anything but ordinary—with ruthless, ongoing jabs shared between the candidates on and off the debate floor—an equally as odd campaign ploy reached our very own campus just last weekend.
On Sunday morning, a student alerted The Oracle of fraudulent posters found hanging in the Lecture Center hallways that advertised a “new” way of voting: via social media. The poster urged people to post “Hillary #PresidentialElection” on Twitter or Facebook between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Nov. 8 in order to cast their vote for the candidate. A campus-wide email offered a prompt response to the posters just hours later, reiterating that one cannot cast a vote in this manner.
Regardless of whom someone is voting for, they should never be misled or urged to not exercise their right to vote and we hope that these posters did not misinform any student nor faculty member in the process. While it’s not explicitly mentioned, we can assume the target demographic of these posters was the student body and that this was an attempt to undermine the student voting population. New York does not have early voting, so it all comes down to who turns out on the second Tuesday in November. We at The New Paltz Oracle admonish whoever is behind this fake flier scam. It was a bad attempt to influence the election and insulted the intelligence of Millennials. Though we hope that no one was misled by this fraudulent document, the intent is just as malicious. Let us be clear, we know how to vote, when to vote and we will vote.
The insinuation of these posters, and whoever plastered them around campus, is that Millennials are not intelligent enough to be trusted with their own vote. Of course, we know that such a claim is untrue and carelessly underestimates our generation’s impact on the world. Most may not realize this, but we are quickly becoming one of the most powerful generations in the history of American politics.
According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated 126 million Millennial and Gen X adults were eligible to vote as of July. This was compared to only 98 million Boomers and older adults from prior gen- erations, young voters account for nearly 56 percent of eligible voters. However, according to NPR, “Millennials continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any age group. Only about 46 percent voted in the last presidential election; compared to 72 percent of the Silent Generation, who habitually punch above their weight.”
If anything, these fliers should emphasize the untapped power that young voters have as a voting bloc. Given that voting is the important exercise in a functional democracy, this should serve as a rallying cry to go to the ballot box. We need more people voting and more participation from our generation. We need to prove our electorate gravitas and remind people that we are not ignorant voters.
Many of us voted in the primary back in April and we will most definitely vote in the general in a few weeks. Rest assured that fliers that patronize and underestimate our political opinions cannot and will not impede us from expressing our rights as Americans.
So remember, Nov. 8, between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. is when you can vote. Be sure to confirm the location of your voting place, or fill out an absentee ballot, which you can apply for as long as it is postmarked before Nov. 1. If you are registered to vote on campus, you can vote in the Multi-Purpose Room in the Student Union Building.