Exercise voting power in upcoming election


The entire New Jersey State Legislature will go up for election on Nov. 8. This means that in addition to local races, you will have the opportunity to vote for your district’s assembly member and state senator.     

I understand how busy everyone is studying for exams, writing papers and figuring out class schedules for next semester — all while trying to stay healthy as the weather gets colder. Going out to a polling location on Tuesday might not be your first priority, and you might not even think it’s worth taking the time to vote. But I urge everyone to remember one very important point: we attend a public university. The decisions that come out of the New Jersey State House in Trenton directly impact us. In many ways, the decisions that state and local governments make have the greatest impact on the issues we care about. The representatives that you have the chance to elect will make decisions that affect our tuition, the levels of financial aid we can qualify for and, ultimately, the resources that are available to us.

One vote might seem small. You might not think it matters, and in the grand scheme of things, it is unlikely that it will decide an election — but it still counts for something. It’s not about just that one vote but rather what it symbolizes. It is how you communicate with your government, whether it is local, state or federal. You are choosing who you want to represent you and showing your support by taking the time to vote for those people and what they stand for. No one else has the power to do this for you. Your vote is a statement about who you are and what matters to you.

So on Nov. 8, I hope that, if you are registered to vote, you take the few minutes out of your busy day to cast your ballot. If you don’t know where your polling location is, visit ruvoting.rutgers.edu. By voting in this election you will determine not only the composition of government, but also your future. And if you’re not registered, do it today so you will be able to vote in the 2012 presidential election.

Harini Kidambi is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in political science and public health with minors in South Asian studies and religion. She is the Rutgers University Voting student coordinator.

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