A call to the polls from one student to another

Posted: Friday, September 10, 2010

Let's face the facts, many people in my generation don't vote. And in the most recent primary, even many from older generations chose not to vote.

The reasons for lack of a turnout may be the inconvenience of going to the polls or even sheer apathy regarding the political process. Whatever the reason, I am calling out to my generation to be more involved.

According to the Division of Elections Office, of the 480,000 registered voters in Alaska, only 33.71 percent participated. So where were my fellow young Alaskans?

Yes, often our voice is lost within the polling numbers. Really, what does one vote matter? Well, as evidenced by the latest primary, one vote does have an effect. The Alaskan Republican primary for U.S. Senate is an example of where small numbers of voters can make a large difference. Joe Miller won the primary by a slight margin of 2,020 votes. The race did not go as expected to the chagrin of some, and happiness of others. But this is politics. The voice of the people is what decides things, and when two-thirds of the population is not giving their voice, things do not go as expected.

Young Alaskans need to consider the Alaska of the future. What do you want your future state to look like? Which candidate is most likely to steer the state in a direction you support? We are the up and coming generation; many of us will one day be the leaders of Alaska and will inherit the decisions made by our predecessors. And so one primary or one election is pertinent to us. We must choose our predecessors wisely.

This is my appeal, to my peers: vote. It is not enough to talk amongst ourselves. No matter your feelings for the results of the recent primary; make yourself a part of the next election. Tell the state of Alaska who you want to be in charge. Those of us in Alaska, turn out to the polls on November 2. Those of us who are away from Alaska, request an absentee ballot. I know we all hold Alaska deep in our hearts, and so we owe it to our state to make our voice heard.

Rose Stanley is currently a senior at Cornell University and is from Juneau.

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