Election season is well underway in Florida as early voting begins. Sixteen polling locations in Hillsborough County opened today and it is absolutely crucial students utilize their right to vote.
This election has created passionate rivalries on both sides of the spectrum and has led to many claiming they won’t be voting at all.
Whether or not you wish to vote for president, students need to lend their voices to the many other issues on the ballot. This election is so much more than deciding if Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump should occupy the White House.
Only 57.5 percent of eligible voters went to the polls in 2012, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center. That ballot had many controversial issues such as healthcare, public funding of abortion and religious freedom.
Unsurprisingly, when laws that impacted the day-to-day lives of many Floridians began to change, they began to voice their displeasure.
However, not showing up to the polls completely invalidates your right to complain when your rights begin to be restricted.
If you didn’t care enough about altering the healthcare system to take five minutes out of your day to vote then you don’t have a right to complain.
This year, there are several major issues on the ballot other than the presidency.
Eighty-eight percent of seats in Congress are up for grabs, an amendment on solar energy, the legalization of medical marijuana, a tax exemption for disabled first responders, and many state and local judge appointments will all be decided by those who choose to take the time to fill in a bubble on a Scantron at one of the many polling locations throughout the state.
If you can’t be bothered to take a second out of your oh-so-busy day to exercise your right to vote on issues that could literally reshape entire aspects of your life, you forfeit the right to whine when lawmakers you could have prevented from obtaining office shoot down issues you care about.