Register to vote before the Oct. 9 deadline



By Jared Flanery

As of Tuesday, we are exactly five weeks away from national elections. Campus will soon erupt with spirited debate, if it has not already, on the relative merits of President Obama, Mitt Romney, and even third-party candidates like Jill Stein.

Presidential elections are not the only game in town, however — students can also vote for Congress, their state Congressional representatives, and in elections for local positions like mayor and city council.

It is crucially important that UK students exercise their right to vote this November. Our individual opinions do not tend to translate into government policy. Yet, it is also true that our collective interests can find a voice, if we choose to speak out. All too often university students decide not to use voting as a method of influencing politics.

We can see that our politics — like costly wars, budget cuts and skyrocketing tuition — need drastic revision. While the democratic process should not begin or end on Nov. 6, voting is an important way of standing up as young people and as students.

If you still aren’t convinced, keep in mind that many people in our society are stripped of their right to vote — and that the struggle for enfranchisement is an important part of American history.

A word on the nitty-gritty of registering. As a student, you have the right to register here at your UK address. Whether you decide to use your campus address or your permanent home address is completely up to you. Election Day is on a week day, though, so I encourage you to register on campus so you don’t have to head home just to vote. Also, students who are 17 can vote this year if they turn 18 by Election Day.

Students should know that the voter registration deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 9 — a deadline that is fast approaching. Thankfully, UK Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, UK NAACP and Catalyst are holding a massive joint voter registration drive today on campus. Just look for students with tables and clipboards throughout campus and they can help you to register to vote.  The process is (relatively) painless and only takes a few minutes. So, don’t forget to vote on Nov. 6.