Get involved with all elections, not just one

By Postie Editors

In 42 days, the next President of the United States will be elected.

How are you going to make a difference this November?

If you’re like most of the students on our staff — and the majority of the millennial generation — this year will be the first time you will be old enough to vote in the presidential elections. Be sure to make it count.

Voter turnout among the millennails — those born between 1982-2000 — was 51 percent in 2008 and only 40 percent were even old enough to vote, according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center. Now, in 2012, more than half of us will be able to cast our ballots and everyone who can, should.

As college students, this election period is especially important to us. With a 14.5 percent unemployment rate for 20 to 24-year-olds and a national average student loan debt of $24,000 among college students, we need to make sure we’re electing the right representatives.

However, just knowing the differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney isn’t going to suffice. You need to read up on your local politicians, too.

This year, in addition to electing a U.S. President, the State of Michigan will also elect a new State Senator, 15 members for the national House of Representatives,  Michigan House of Representatives as well as a Circuit, District, Probate and Probate District judge.

There are 653 candidates on the ballot, according to the Secretary of State website. How many of them are you familiar with? Do you know who represents you and your interests in Lansing and Washington D.C.?

While it is important to be educated on the presidential candidates, it is equally important to be educated on local candidates.

The local representatives elected Nov. 6 will directly represent you and your interests.

These people will be the most in tune with issues in your community and will look to represent you.

Only 20.4 percent of registered voters participated in the Aug. 7 Michigan primary elections this year — a total of only 1,503,662 people. Were you one of them?

During the next month, we challenge you to get involved. Read up on the candidates and do some research.

Learn about which issues they stand for, and which ones they oppose. The candidates that are elected will impact the policy decisions made.

Devote some of your free time (though we know it’s limited) to a political party. Keep yourself well-informed.

Use nonpartisan websites like rockthevote and ontheissues to find out the basics. And when Nov. 6 rolls around, be ready to make a difference.

After all, whomever we elect will be in charge of making important decisions during the next two to four years.

Make sure you’re educated on all of the issues and are voting for the right people.