EdBoardSpeaks: DePauw Student Government elections - Be informed and use your vote


Getting voters to voting booths is a national problem, a microcosm of which can be seen on our very own campus.
Last year's 2013 elections included the Virginia governor's race, the New Jersey governor's race, the New York City mayor's race, the Houston mayor's race, the Atlanta mayor's race, the Boston mayor's race, the Detroit mayor's race, the Pittsburgh mayor's race and the Seattle mayor's race. According to colorlines.com, the highest turnout for any of these races was in Seattle, where 57 percent of the voting public picked up an "I voted" sticker and elected Ed Murray, the city's first openly gay mayor.
Far more commonly, however, turnout was down. The Houston mayor's race saw only 13 percent of the public vote and in Atlanta the numbers weren't much better, at 15 percent turnout. According to the New York Times, on Election Day last year, November 6, 2013, the turnout was 24 percent, which set a record low for the city. The previous low of 28 percent was set in 2009.
Even the 2012 presidential election barely managed to break the 50 percent mark, coming in at 57.5 percent-a decrease from the 2008 election turnout of 62.3 percent.
Unfortunately, the national trend of apathy is a problem on DePauw's campus as well. In 2012, only about 50 percent of the DePauw student body voted during the Student Government elections. Voter turnout numbers for the 2013 Student Government elections could not be found.
This editorial board feels that these numbers are unacceptable.
We are a small liberal arts college, ranked highly on lists of colleges and universities nationwide. We, as DePauw students, are primed to be leaders in the world outside of the "DePauw bubble." If we can't bring ourselves even to take approximately five minutes out of our day to get on e-services and vote for our students leaders, how much are we contributing to choosing leaders on a local, state or national level?
Being an active member of your community should start now. Be informed about who is running for what and what their platforms are. Do the research, go to debates, get involved and when the time comes, vote.
Apathy will never create change. Your vote counts, use it.