In November of 2014, less than half of 18-24 year olds were registered to vote, and only 17% of them casted a ballot according to the Campus Vote Project.
The consequences of the 2014 election were stark: politicians from across the country drafted and passed legislation that targeted women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. If we want our country to progress, we must fight to ensure that every eligible student votes, and College Democrats are dedicated to making that as easy as possible for them to do.
Newspapers such as The Chicago Maroon have taken this message to heart – that’s why it is including in its publication a valid voter registration form for the city of Chicago.
Democracy is no spectator sport – whether you support Bruce Rauner or JB Pritzker, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, if you want to make sure that the candidate who espouses your values wins, you need to go out and support them.
The inclusion of a voter registration form in The Maroon is the result of a project from the College Democrats of America – the Ithaca Project, so named for the first publication that had this idea, the Ithaca Times. Civic participation means using the best ideas that everyone has to offer, because participation can’t be trademarked. Everyone participates, protests, even votes differently –– but in the end, we’re all making our own, individual voices heard.
So join us. Call your state, county, or city board of elections. See if this is something you can do before the voter registration deadlines imposed by secretaries of state who don’t want college students voting. Then, if you can, help make your campus’s voice heard.
Editor's Note: This article will be published in an upcoming issue of the Maroon, alongside a voter registration form. It is being published online prior to its scheduled publication date to encourage students to register to vote now.