No excuse for students not to vote in elections

There is no denying that Friday’s rally with President Barack Obama focused more on promoting Democratic ideology than on the students who came to see the president speak.

But setting aside the partisanship that characterized the event, the underlying call to arms was a crucial one: Vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

There is a tired, overused laundry list of reasons why young adults don’t participate in elections, especially ones that won’t decide the presidency: not being registered, not having enough time, not being informed on the issues, not being politically inclined.

These reasons are common and easy to identify with, but their ubiquity does not make them justifiable. For students considering not voting on Nov. 2, it is time to re-evaluate.

Register ahead of time, set aside the few minutes that it will actually take to vote and get informed. Realize that these elections will decide the course of the next two years of policy, and that some aspects of them, such as the California governorship, are likely to affect students more quickly and comprehensively than the presidential elections ever will.

As a state known for being progressive, California’s new policies — which, depending on election results, could include air pollution regulation or the legalization of marijuana — will set precedents for the rest of the nation.

Several states, including California, are having gubernatorial elections as well, meaning that regardless of where they’re from, there’s cause for all students to get involved.

Students claiming to be uninformed have the resources to get informed, and quickly. The CA Propositions Voter’s Guide, compiled by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, for instance, explains all the propositions in question in less than four pages.  In a world where information is literally available at the tips of our Internet-savvy fingertips, we can afford to spend 30 minutes less on Facebook to read up on the candidates and issues at hand.

The content of the 2010 midterm elections is relevant to the entire student body. Not voting means not having a voice in the future of taxes or the next leader of California political policy. This election is the next step for the state — come Nov. 2, students should make the effort to cast their votes and be a part of that step.