LETTER: It’s time to vote!

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Hayley Spellman is a senior in communication studies and political science, the elections commissioner for Student Governing Association and the founder of Wildcats Vote. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

Hey Wildcats, did you know that Tuesday, Nov. 5, is Election Day? If not, you’re not alone. Many voters are completely unaware that Kansas holds elections in November every year. Having an election every year is a great way to promote habitual voting and higher civic engagement, but it only works when voters like you go out to the polls.

Historically, young adults are the least likely to vote, and this was especially apparent in the 2017 City/School Board Election for the city of Manhattan. In 2017, 5,471 individuals between the age of 18 and 24 were registered to vote in Manhattan. However, only 228 of those individuals voted in that year’s election — a mere 4 percent voter turnout.

It’s time to go vote, y’all. Let’s change those numbers for 2019.

This fall, Tufts University released Kansas State’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement report. This report compared K-State’s voter registration and voting habits from the 2014 election to the 2018 election. We increased voter turnout by 20.4 percentage points — a major victory for our University!

What’s on the ballot, you ask? This year, for the 2019 Election, voters will be considering candidates for city commission and school board spots, a question regarding a Kansas constitutional amendment and in Manhattan there is a question regarding a proposed sales tax increase.

Not sure where to vote? Visit ksvotes.org to see where your voting precinct is. Additionally, if you’re unsure you’re registered or want to register for the next election, ksvotes.org can do that as well.

Finally, Wildcats Vote will be conducting a “Why I Vote” campaign on Election Day. We’re looking for students to tell us why voting and civic engagement are important to them, so stop by! Catch us in the K-State Student Union from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We’re off to a great start, Wildcats, but let’s keep this momentum going. Tuesday, Nov. 5 is Election Day, and it’s time to make our voices heard. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. It’s time to go vote!

Hayley Spellman is a senior in communication studies and political science, the elections commissioner for Student Governing Association and the founder of Wildcats Vote. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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