Editorial: Make your voice heard and register to vote for midterm elections

By The Beacon | September 26, 2018 9:04pm
Students hold up VoteUP shirts in the Pilot House during the 2016 presidential election.
Media Credit: Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Voting in midterm elections allows you to vote on state issues, local issues and who represents you in Congress.

But according to an article by the Pew Research Center, even though younger generations like Millenials and Gen X make up the majority of the electorate (all people in the country entitled to vote in an election), they do not make up the majority of voters.

With midterms coming up on Nov. 6., The Beacon urges UP students to vote and help improve those statistics. The first step is to register. 

Many states require voters to register 30 days before voting. Oregon’s date for voter registration is Oct. 16, which means time is ticking. Oregon is a vote-by-mail state and begins sending out ballots on Oct. 17.

The Beacon has made it easy for students to check their voting status and register in their home state or Oregon using Vote.org on our website. All it takes is two minutes or less. From the same link, you can request an absentee ballot if you are registered in another state. 

If you want to vote in Oregon but don’t have an Oregon driver's license, the form will ask you to enter the last four digits of your social security number. Then, it will have you print out a form and mail it to the Oregon Elections Division. 

In Oregon, voters will decide between current Governor Kate Brown (Dem.) and challenger Knute Bueller (Rep.). In addition to the race for governor, voters can also vote on congressional and city council races.

Your vote can help ensure that the laws and policies on issues you care about are passed, and those you disagree with are repealed. 

There are several measures on the ballot in Oregon. A few you should keep your eye out for include:

Measure 105 would repeal the “sanctuary city” law, which is currently in place. This law gives local and state law enforcement the option to not cooperate with federal immigration officers in the apprehension or investigation of people whose only violation is regarding federal immigration law. 

Measure 106 prohibits Oregon from using public funds on abortion. 

More information on different measures and other candidates on the ballot can be found on the Multnomah County webpage.

Students at UP pride themselves on being active members of society. Students here protest, sign petitions, write opinions, form committees, donate, tweet, compost. But unless students vote, things will not change.

So, go register in between classes today, while you are eating breakfast tacos at The Commons or on the elliptical at Beauchamp. Because in the wise words of Leslie Knope, “You know what? America is awesome,” and whether you believe it or not, your vote matters.