Kylie McGovern, Editor
Ghosts, ghouls, vampires, and witches are not nearly as scary to me as some of the voting apathy I have experienced recently. Polyas.com defines voting apathy as “a lack of interest in participating in elections by certain groups of voters. One side-effect of voter apathy can be low voter turnout on election day if voting is non-compulsory. In countries or areas with compulsory elections, voter apathy may manifest itself in the form of a high proportion of spoilt ballots or donkey votes.” I have experienced this spirit (get it, cause it’s Halloween) of voting apathy with haunting phrases like “I am anti-vote” or when asked if registered to vote someone said, “like for president?” Seriously spooky.
So, why vote? My simple and perhaps pessimistic answer is that voting is the last shred of democracy we have left. Look, America’s democratic system is far from perfect, the nine arguably most powerful individuals are APPOINTED for LIFE and maybe some senators have been serving since the ‘80s, but voting in all elections every year (yes, even the ones that happen in May and in years without a presidential election) local elections can actually massively impact your lives and neighborhoods.
If using your address here at La Salle, national, state, and local offices are up for the vote this election. A PA senator seat is up for election. If you have been lucky or unlucky enough to see a scary political ad you’d know that John Fetterman (yes, the one who wears hoodies) and Mehmet Oz (that one TV doctor) are the main competitors although others are also running. In addition, PA governor is up for election. Josh Shapiro runs for the democrat party and Douglas V. Mastriano runs as the republican candidate. In addition, PA lieutenant governor is up for election. Although I do certainly think it is important to vote in these elections. I think it is immensely important to vote in local elections which are also on the ballot. If using your La Salle address, you have the opportunity to vote for the Philadelphia City Council: drafts, debates, and enacts legislation that exclusively impacts the city of Philadelphia. City council also plans city finances which essentially decides where your tax dollars go. This allocation of taxes can go to repave the roads or programs at public schools AKA things that can directly impact you. The council also “has the authority to decide who sits on various city boards and commissions. As a result, the City Council has significant influence in shaping city policies and programs” according to Committee of Seventy. Ultimately, these local elections have the opportunity to make tangible change in my opinion and to me your vote goes a lot farther in these local elections during “off years.” So, now that I hopefully have convinced you about the importance of voting, you can register to vote following this link, although it will be too late to register to vote on Nov. 8, I hope I’ve convinced you to vote in the next election in May 2023. Please vote. The future can be scary, and I am not talking about in a The Sixth Sense way. The future is rather scary because 2021 was the warmest year ever recorded, there have been 35 school shootings in the US, and social media is derailing democracy with misinformation. I think that voting maybe won’t solve all of these issues, but it might elect some people who will take a crack at making a better tomorrow for you. See you at the polls on Nov. 8, 2022, from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.