All able participants should vote in local and general elections, regardless of context, circumstances or implications (Courtesy of Flickr).
By Christopher Canadeo
This past Friday concluded the highly contested University Student Government election for Fordham University. While certain candidates won and others lost, a clear message to the Fordham community was that regardless of who you were voting for, your voice matters; and in order to help your candidates win, you needed to vote for them. Unfortunately, there were only 1,839 votes cast—just a fraction of the current student population.
Voting in elections is imperative to being both a student and a citizen. As students of Fordham, it is our responsibility to make our voices heard as to which candidate we want to run for which position. The participation of voters is important because, in most cases, the results directly impact the voters themselves. The reason why voting is in place is to allow the majority to dictate who becomes candidate, instead of a select few.
Furthermore, candidates who win in elections with a large voter turnout better represent the voting population at large as opposed to candidates who won elections in which very few voted. It does not take a high amount of university political efficacy to fill out a two-minute ballot online and if more people did this, the election results would have encapsulated a larger representation of the beliefs of the student body at Fordham. Although rallies and protests are also effective methods for spreading awareness of an issue, voting for someone who upholds your views towards certain issues has a direct impact on policies and laws you would like to see enacted.
Even if you are not a fan of any of the candidates running, casting a vote anyway for the candidate who is best fit for the job is important because the election results may have a direct impact on your standard of living. Choosing not to vote in an election because you feel disenfranchised with the whole process is lazy, and frankly, ineffective. You can ask Colin Kaepernick what happened to his credibility and authority towards his “taking-a-knee movement” once word spread that he did not even bother to vote in the 2016 general election.
Yes, I am aware that the movement put a lot of money in areas that needed it, but in regards to Kaepernick’s personal perspective and outlook on politics, he vanished from mainstream media because he voted the same number of times as an actual football. Voting is a right, but also a privilege. 100 years ago women did not have the right to vote and worked tirelessly to make sure that they, and their daughters, would be afforded that right and to have their voices heard in the political process. African Americans also fought and sacrificed countless lives for the right of every African American to have as equal votes as their white counterpart, not just three-fifths.
Regardless of what election you vote in and who you vote for, casting your ballot should be a celebratory process. There’s a certain pride that goes with taking part in any voting process. Whether your candidate wins or loses, at least you know that you contributed and tried to help them win.
The beautiful (and kind of demoralizing) part of voting in most elections is that your vote counts as much as anybody else’s whether you are passionate about the cause or voting because someone told you to. Fordham students and other readers, regardless of your motive (if there is one), I encourage you to vote in future elections no matter the cause because win or lose, being part of the election process is a rewarding experience.
Christopher Canadeo, GSB ‘19, is a marketing major from Long Island, New York.