“Vote your voice” : Student Opinion

“Vote your voice” : Student Opinion

With the presidential election less than a month away, those who have the opportunity to vote need to understand the power they hold. We were all taught about voting to some extent in school, but with everything else going on, why does it really matter? Heleena Kabtimer, a junior International Business Management major, said, “As a person of color and a woman, there’s so many times when voting in our history has not been provided to someone like me. Now that I can use my voice to vote in elections, all those people didn’t fight for me to not use it.” Suffrage is a privilege, a time when people get to use their voice to stand up for what they believe in. Concerning people who choose not to vote, Jessica Heffington, a senior Accounting major, claims she understands people choose not to vote for various reasons, but said, “If you choose not to, then you can’t be mad at the outcome.” Both Kabtimer and Heffington admit they did not vote when they first turned eighteen. The main reason was that it wasn’t a presidential election year. Local elections don’t garner nearly as much attention as federal elections, but looking back Kabtimer wishes she understood that local elections are actually just as important as federal elections. “Every town, city, and state is different and those who live there should have a say in what affects them every day,” Heffington said. A common obstacle to first-time voters is not knowing how the voting process works. Kiana Rafiei, a junior Psychology major, thinks schools need to better prepare students to go out...
Voting during a pandemic

Voting during a pandemic

Many of us feel the weight of the upcoming election, and hopefully each of us will go out and exercise our right to vote. Many people, though, may not know where to start or how the voting process works. With a pandemic as yet another obstacle, it’s important to plan now for your vote. If you’re not yet registered to vote, most states allow you to register online with your social security number and driver’s license. The voter registration card will be mailed to you within 30 days. You must be registered to vote within 30 days of an election, so this would need to be done by October 5. Each state’s laws are different, but the ways you can get your vote counted are through mail-in voting, early in-person voting, or voting on election day. Voting by mail (also known as “absentee voting”) is an extra popular option this year amid COVID-19 concerns. In Tennessee, residents can vote by mail if they have an excuse. Some accepted excuses include being a full-time student outside of your county, being the caretaker of an ill person, or having an underlying medical condition. COVID-19 concerns do not fall under acceptable excuses in the state of Tennessee. To vote by mail, you must submit the request to your local county election commission office. Tennesseans must make that request by October 27 and return the ballot by November 3 at 8pm. The ballots can be returned by mail, or in some cases delivered in-person. Some people have claimed that voting by mail is unsafe and could lead to fraud, but many senior intelligence officials explain...