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25 January 2012

Staff Editorial 1/26: Make each voice count

Unemployment is at a whopping 8.5 percent, the national debt is about $15 trillion and 46.2 million Americans are living below the poverty line. Whether it’s President Barack Obama’s fault or not, the problems and their solutions are our responsibility.

It’s the year of the presidential election, and college students should be informed and ready to vote. Some people think Congress is not fulfilling its promises and many complain about what isn’t being done for this country. But what are those people doing to fix it?

With the election only 10 months away, Obama will most likely not be challenged for the Democratic candidacy, but four contenders are currently fighting for the official Republican nomination: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.

Many college students are uninformed, uninvolved and uninterested in politics, and this is no surprise. Yet the president has a 45 percent approval rating, showing that more than half of the American population is unhappy with his decisions. This is an important election and everyone should care. Most college students want secure jobs after graduation, cheaper gas or more efficient energy, and a more stable economy. This is our only opportunity to see these hopes fulfilled.

On Jan. 31, Florida will host its Republican primary election, in which only registered Republicans are eligible to vote. Absentee ballots are also available, so being away from home is not an excuse for out-of-state students. Many are quick to sprint to the November elections so they can proudly wear that sticker that says, “I voted today.”  Still, many fail to realize that the primaries are equally meaningful. And, by the way, you will still get that sticker.

For all registered Republican voters, don’t let this primary pass you by. Florida is considered a make-or-break state when it comes to any election. Our voices matter and can make a difference.

In America, we can change things by voting.  We only have ourselves to blame for the people we elect into office. We can protest about Wall Street, sign petitions for gay rights, march up to the White House and complain about Congress, but without a vote our actions mean nothing. Don’t silence your voice. Vote.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.