Tag Archives: Voting

Radford’s Ready for the Election

With just a few short weeks to go, the presidential election of 2016 is almost here. This election has truly been one for the history books, and Radford University students are ready to take part in this important election year.

With efforts from the Voting Action Office, ran as a part of the Student Government Association, students this year have made a point to take the time and register to vote or apply for an absentee ballot if needed. As of SGA’s recent October 17th meeting, 533 students have taken the time to ensure their vote will be counted and voice will be heard on November 8th.

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“The number of students registering this year is far more than that of last year.”

The number of students registering this year is far more than that of last year, the first year the Voting Action Office was established. This can be understood in part by the national attention a presidential election receives, as well as the nature of this grueling 2016 election season.

While most students hear the usual buzz about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Radford goes beyond looking at the two major party candidates, with many students supporting third-party individuals such as the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and even independent conservative Evan McMullin. For many here on campus, they believe it’s time to let go of the traditional two-party system and recognize the alternatives that may be a better choice for our nation.

Regardless of who you support this election season, it is critical for every student to be informed and go out to the polls on Election Day. The Millennial generation is the largest voting bloc for the very first time in America’s history this year, meaning we have the power to put who we want into the White House. Make sure to take part in this great civic duty of ours—if we don’t, who will?

Radford Wants YOU to Vote

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Over the last few weeks, Radford University has been gifted with the presence of voter registration personnel. Their main objective is to get many, if not all, of the Radford student body registered in time for the 2016 presidential election. While many of us find this to be slightly annoying—especially when they stop you and you’re already late to your 3:30 bio lab—it’s a necessary evil.

In 2014, only 19.9% of 18-29-year-olds cast their ballots; this was the lowest youth turn-out rate ever recorded in a federal election.

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“Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world.”

Many students claim that they’re too busy, that their vote doesn’t matter, and that they just didn’t feel the need to register to vote; however, it’s this demographic that has the potential to change the course of an entire election. According to 2014 numbers, there are 31.5 million 18-24-year-olds in America, with 40% of those individuals being college students. This is a tenth of the overall population. Imagine the difference that could occur if every college student did their civic duty and voted in not only federal elections, but local ones as well.

College is a time where we make changes, and how we define ourselves differs from the child that we’ve grown out of. One of the milestones that we reach at the raw age of 18 is the ability to vote. College students consistently seek ways to better the environment, their local communities, and their lifestyles, and the most progressive way to do this is to vote.

So the next time you see an overly excited (or overly tired) voter registration attendant and you haven’t registered, just go ahead and do it. As stated by Sharon Salzberg, “Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world.”

Weekly Time Wasters: Crisps and the Obama phone

Welcome to another installment of the column that I know all of you wait around with bated breath all week for, the Weekly Time Wasters! I have nothing to say here but my editor insisted I have an introduction. I don’t mind as I now have a chance to talk to all you lovely people. So how was your day? Good? Mine too. Now that that’s over, let’s get into the good stuff and waste some time. If you like what you see leave a comment and let me know. If you stumble across something elsewhere that’s so funny that you have no choice but to share it with the world, put it in the comments. There’s a good chance it could make it into next weeks Time Waster. And now, an enjoyable 15 minutes that you will never get back. Continue reading Weekly Time Wasters: Crisps and the Obama phone

Gun control: Helpful or harmful?

When people talk about banning guns, they often claim that a society without guns is a safer one. The thing that seems to escape most people is that criminals have already demonstrated the capability and the capacity to break the law. Any new laws or widespread bans will not prevent such things from happening but only allow the law-abiding citizens of America to be even further weakened against such attacks. Suppose everyone had to turn in their weapons. How many burglars, rapists, murderers, gang members, drug dealers, etc. would turn in their firearms? I would guess close to zero, because they’re the ones breaking laws. Instead, I propose to enforce the current gun laws and make punishments for breaking more severe. Continue reading Gun control: Helpful or harmful?

Voting: Nature or nurture?

When it comes to where people acquire their political beliefs, political scientists have analyzed many possibilities that might factor in, such as household income, gender and church attendance. It has long been thought that a person’s political ideals are something that comes mostly from their parents, friends or other environmental factors. However, there have emerged an increasing number of studies that suggest genetics may have an underlying role in both voter turnout and the way people vote. Continue reading Voting: Nature or nurture?

From our perspective: An actual third party option

With political advertisements consuming every spare ad space on the web, in print and on air, it’s hard to get away from the upcoming presidential election. Ads attack voters everywhere we go, campaigning for our individual vote, appealing to our values and our lives. Almost everyone has chosen a side, either leaning towards Obama and his democratic views or Romney and his republican ways, but most people ignore the independent parties, casting them aside as a wasted vote. We, here at Whim, think voters should pay attention to all the options instead of just writing the little parties off as a wasted vote. Continue reading From our perspective: An actual third party option

Pick me, pick me!

There have been three official presidential debates this election year, including one vice presidential debate.

Obama and Romney in their first live debate at the University of Denver on October 3.

A majority consensus of registered voters, liberal and conservative alike, believed that Governor Mitt Romney proved victorious on Wed, Oct. 3 debate. Romney has quite often been portrayed as a wealthy businessman who simply does not understand the struggles of an average man or woman. Moderator Jim Lehrer, host of NewsHour on PBS, opened the debate with a question about the two candidates’ jobs agenda. Continue reading Pick me, pick me!

Facebook makes you vote? Scientists say yes

Social media has changed our world forever. Whether for good or bad is still hotly debated, but every day more areas of life are discovered to be affected by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like. It turns out it’s not just our personal lives social media affects; It’s our civic lives too. A recent study indicates that Facebook can motivate people to vote. Continue reading Facebook makes you vote? Scientists say yes

S.O.S from voter ID?

In an election year, every issue seems to become both more delicate and more pressing. By putting forth two different candidates from two different parties, we as a country are ultimately putting forth all our views, positions and principles, and then deciding who is most in line with them. It’s a fascinating process, and an opportunity to examine ourselves as people, party members and political entities. But the deeply personal nature of the issues themselves can make the practice complicated and even destructive. Continue reading S.O.S from voter ID?

The false dichotomy of American politics

As the Republican primaries continue their slow crawl toward Tampa, and President Barack Obama is oiling up his re-election campaign, I believe now is a good time to take stock of the current condition of politics in America.

Turn on the 24-hour news cycle and it will demonstrate what I believe to be the fundamental problem with our political system. Namely, the mentality of the electorate that there are only two viable possibilities: Republican or Democrat; left or right.

How can only two choices adequately represent all the beliefs and principles of this great and diverse nation? Therein lies the false dichotomy that is our two-party system; as a voter it would seem that you are either one or the other, with no gray area or alternative positions to be had. Continue reading The false dichotomy of American politics

Not-so-Super Tuesday

I love being a Virginian for many reasons, and one of them is because of the politics. We aren’t seen as a classic swing state, but I like to think that we are. The dominant party might not change every election season, but it changes enough to keep it interesting. Considering all of the national media attention Virginia has been getting over our General Assembly session, I was extremely disappointed to see such a low voter turnout this primary season. According to the Associated Press, only 265,533 people across the state came to the polls for Super Tuesday, likely because of fellow candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich’s failure to earn spots on the ballot. This is a historically low turnout for the Virginia presidential primary, according to the Huffington Post. Continue reading Not-so-Super Tuesday

College students shouldn’t vote in their college towns

The Political Science Club recently set up a booth to register Radford University students to vote in the community. At first, the idea of eliminating the hassle of getting registered for extremely busy college students sounds great, but then I got to thinking, should we be allowed to vote here?

Should college students vote in their college towns? Photo by Creative Commons.

Most of us aren’t from around here. We’re just living here for about four years to get our higher education with the hopes of leaving and starting a life somewhere else. Why should we vote for a community we aren’t committed to? I’m totally for our age group to get out there, vote and make a difference, but is it fair for us to do it here?

It would be the equivalent of a drive-by vote. We would come out in droves to potentially change their policies and leaders, then leave. Consider this: a senior at RU voting for a new mayor, probably without necessarily being educated on their policies and goals for the Radford community, and then graduating. If that student leaves, then the town is left with the mayor the student voted in without the student to reap the rewards (or deal with the consequences).

I’m not saying one person’s vote matters or that the students would even be that keen to vote, but it’s a small enough town for one vote to make a difference. This goes for most college towns–a town that relies on the university for jobs and opportunities, but not a town where most students would stay.

Think along the lines of Farmville, Va., or Mount Vernon, Iowa, the towns that hold Longwood University and Cornell College. I would go out on a limb and say these towns’ populations are mostly students and professors. If a town ordinance changed for each student’s coming and going, the policies would change constantly.

People voting. Photo by Creative Commons.

This isn’t necessarily good for the non-students and non-faculty. They are there long enough to know how things work and the context in which things should be done. They are here to deal with the bad mayor or horrible legislation the students might have thought was a great idea.

If you haven’t noticed, college students can be quite selfish when it comes to their college towns. We know we’re responsible for the economy and activities in the towns, and we take advantage of it. Take the police force for example. We get so angry when drunk in publics and DUIs are typical for a weekend.

After that, the cops get a bad reputation for being unfair and too restrictive. But do we think about the people who have to deal with us all the time? I’m sure after years of living in a college town, the residents get quite annoyed with the drunken antics of college students.

And now, let’s go a step further. We vote to ensure our good time is preserved. Now, the year-round residents have to deal with year after year of trying to keep the peace in the town. And if we do vote at school, we need to make an educated decision. Small-town elections are not a time to “eeny, meeny, miny moe” that ballot.

Conservatives certainly aren’t trying to conserve America!

Photo from Creative Commons

When looking through the vast universe that is the Internet, many people may think, “Oh, if it’s on the Internet it must be true!” But what many fail to realize is that anyone, yes ANYONE, can post whatever they damn well please. They could, for instance, make a website saying that the world is going to end in a week and that everyone will have to live on Mars. Whether the world is going to end or not is up to the speculation of the reader, obviously, but it does not mean that it is unequivocally true.

While many liberals may complain that Obama is choosing too many Republicans for important positions, I am still siding with him in the hope that he is actually doing his research in choosing people who he believes actually would make good appointments for the position, regardless of their political party. Barack Obama is the most educated president that we have had since Clinton (and sorry Clinton, I love you, but Obama’s actually still more educated than you; don’t let any Yale grads read this).

It is for that reason that I want to place blame with the Republicans for this quagmire. When action should be taking place, why am I hearing from people that this is Obama