NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Elections are Coming, and Your Vote Matters

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The Presidential Election is coming next year, which brings about some important questions. Are you registered to vote? Are you aware of the history of voting? Do you know why it’s so important to our democracy?

Voting has been part of our political history for over 200 years. After the Declaration of Independence signed in 1776, we elected our first President, George Washington, in 1788.  

Voting rights have not always been as open as they are today. In the past, various laws dictated what kind of people could go to the polls.  At first, only white men who owned property had the right to vote. In 1889, Wyoming was the first state to allow female citizens to vote, and by 1965, the Voting Rights Act was signed and allowed anyone to vote.

It’s common to feel a bit disenchanted with politics, but casting your vote is critically important: as a U.S. citizen, you should care about who is running our country.

“I think it’s more important for 18 to 25-year-olds to vote. . . They typically don’t vote, which is why politicians don’t care (about appealing to them),” said Professor Tom Greene of the English department. “People in their 50s . . . vote a lot more, which is why get a lot more of what they want out of our government.”

Unfortunately, we do live in a society where older people are more involved in the political process. Hearteningly, though, a fair amount of 20-something students at Northern Essex are actively following the upcoming elections.

Parker Moody, who is a History major at Northern Essex, has been very passionate about politics. “During the election back in 2008, when it was McCain vs. Obama, my teacher and I would have heated discussions on our disagreements. I was for Obama while Repucci was for McCain,” he said. “One thing I really appreciated . . . was how he never discouraged me from what I believed.”

As the upcoming election is fast approaching, I decided to ask the students of Northern Essex if anyone is following the current candidates. From what it looks like, the top 3 candidates mentioned (in no particular order) are Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Michael Ross is a theatre major at Northern Essex who has been registered to vote as an Independent since the age of 18.  Ross has been following the current election today and is not afraid to state his opinion; he is all for Bernie Sanders.

“There is not much a chance for the Republicans to win,” said Ross. “The only nominee that is getting any attention is Donald Trump.”

Whatever your opinion, always remember: your vote counts, whether it’s for a Student Senate election on campus, a local election in your town of residence, or for the President in 2016.

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