Have you registered to vote?!

If friends, family, and Lil Jon haven’t yet convinced you to register to vote or get an absentee ballot, now – yes, right now! – is the time to make a plan to vote.

If you want to vote in Middletown, you MUST re-register, even if you registered in Middletown last year! This is because your voting district and poll location are determined by your on-campus street address – NOT your mailing address at 45 Wyllys. If you have a valid DMV ID from Connecticut, the process is fast and all online, and it must be done by Tuesday, October 21. If you don’t have a valid DMV ID from Connecticut, the Registrar of Voters will need to receive your form by mail by October 21, meaning you would have had to send it today, so instead you’ll take a 10-minute stroll to the Registrar’s Office (245 deKoven Drive) to deliver it in person by Tuesday, October 28. On Election Day (November 4), the Office of Community Service will have vans running between Usdan and the various voting polls. If you hail from Connecticut and are registered for your non-Wesleyan home, you need to either vote by absentee ballot or drive to your local voting poll. (Register here!)

The registration deadline has passed in several places, including New York and Massachusetts, but there’s still time to register by mail or online in a few states, such as California. Some states are still accepting in-person registrations, so do some research if you’re heading home for fall break. Of course, if you’ve registered in another state and can’t be there on November 4, you’ll need to apply for an absentee ballot and, once you’ve received the ballot, send it so it arrives by Election Day (though this deadline changes state by state).

Election Season brings with it questions of not only how to vote but also why, especially when it comes to voting in Middletown, and especially when it comes to midterm elections. If you don’t get warm-and-fuzzies from just “fulfilling your civic duty,” here’s some food for thought that might pull you to the polls:

  • The issues you care about in national politics – education, health care, reproductive rights, drug laws, social/political/economic equality, and more – have an even greater influence on your life at the city and state level. The safety, prosperity, and wellbeing of Middletown matters.
  • Sure, Middletown is only your “home” for four or so years, but you may also move away from your “home home” after graduation. Is it really any less weird to vote here than to vote in that other place you barely (if ever) inhabited as a legal adult?
  • There isn’t much of a point to complaining about politics if you don’t exercise your right to vote (as well as your right to protest, and so on) in order to change things.
  • You’re canceling out the vote of someone you disagree with.
  • Who represents you? People have been elected to speak and act on your behalf. If you don’t like what they’re saying or doing, vote for politicians with more of your interests at heart.
  • The November 2014 ballot has questions on topics you likely know little about (yet) and names you’ve never heard. Pretty weird, right? If it’s important enough to put on a ballot it’s probably important enough for you to google.
  • People have fought and died for your right to vote.
  • You get a free sticker.