He Said…Don’t Vote! She Said…Vote!

You need to vote. If you’re not registered, you need to be as soon as humanly possible (October 9th is the last day you can register to vote in the 2012 Presidential Election) so your voice can be heard. “But why?” Well, I’m glad you asked.

The naysayers will tell you that your vote doesn’t count; that you’re only one person and you can’t make a difference. They’ll mention the Electoral College and how the popular vote doesn’t win the election. Well, they’re wrong. It turns out that many states, including Michigan, have it set up where whichever candidate wins the popular vote receives the Electoral College votes.

Consider this: even if your candidate doesn’t win, you still made your voice heard and took a stand for what you believe in. No vote is a vote for everything you don’t like. If you didn’t vote, you have no reason to complain when legislation gets passed that throws off your groove. You were given the opportunity to have a say in the matter, but you chose not to use it.

Lastly, you have a civic duty to vote. People have fought, protested and died for you to be able to make your own life decisions and it’s a pretty big slap in the face to not capitalize on a responsibility of such magnitude. As long as you’re over  18, a citizen of the United States and not in prison, you should be knocking down doors to get to the polls. Away from your normal voting location? Have your parents send you an absentee ballot. You ask them things you don’t actually need all the time: make a request that counts.

That being said, there are several avenues to get registered.  The closest Secretary of State’s office is in Frandor (next to Dunham’s). To speed up  your process, here’s the link to the application: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MIVoterRegistration_97046_7.pdf. You have until October 9th.

–Devyne Lloyd

 VS.    

President Bush

Every four years in the great nation called the United States, millions of Americans – but less than the number of those who vote for the next American Idol – rush to the polls to choose the next President of the United States. Most Americans love our right to choose who will represent us in the political battlefield, but a select few of us (who I call the Smart Ones) see through this façade of freedom, straight to its sinister core. It’s time for a short history lesson, kids.

Years ago, when the U.S. Constitution was being created, American politicians argued much like they do today. Some argued that as a new democratic nation, the people should have the right to directly elect their government officials with a popular vote. Others believed that was too reckless. They believed that many Americans were stupid (which is true) and the alternative would be to allow Congress to elect the President. However, that would have been too close to the style of government over in Great Britain, which we were trying to steer away from. The compromise was the birth of the evil Electoral College.

So, what is the Electoral College? It is the harbinger of the death of American free will! Once the popular vote has been cast and counted, the results from each state are sent to their respective electors who were chosen by the people. Each state has a number of electors equal to their number of U.S. senators plus the number of its U.S. representatives, and varies based on the state’s population. For instance, Michigan has sixteen electors while Florida has twenty-nine. The electors then cast their vote, and this is what determines who wins the election. Some state’s electors are required to decide in favor of the popular vote, some are bound to vote by political party, some vote for the candidate who won the most votes in a district, and still some electors have no restrictions at all.

This means that it is purely possible that a candidate for the presidency can be elected without having the vote of America’s great people, and that ain’t right (consider the 2000 U.S. presidential election, where Gore won the popular vote but Bush won the presidency). The former Communist country Russia has a more direct presidential election system than the great U-S of A. When their citizens vote, majority rules and the candidate with the most tallies wins the election. Why aren’t we like that? Huh, American government?

In conclusion, our votes do not matter. Getting registered to vote does not matter. Exercising your constitutional right as an American citizen doesn’t matter when the Electoral College can basically put whoever they want into office. Be a rebel this Election Day and exercise your right as an American to sit and watch American television!

–Aidan Clark

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