In less than 24 hours, Americans will make history after casting their votes in the 2012 presidential election.
And as college students across the U.S. prepare to finalize their decisions and wait in line for several hours to complete the 30- to 45-minute ballot, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have their eyes set on Florida – one of the top battleground states in the country.
At the University of Miami, students had the privilege to see both the president and Romney at rallies held in the BankUnited Center within two weeks of each other. Democrats and Republicans alike were given the opportunity to witness each candidate speak about why they are running for office and why college students should vote for them.
The best part: No raffle or first-come, first-serve distribution was in order.
Students have had ample time to research candidates’ plans, watch the debates and hourly media coverage, and witness them face-to-face. There are no excuses for not knowing whom to vote for this late in the game.
During this election, several issues are being advocated for by both the liberal and conservative sides – funding for higher education, reforming public education, energy, foreign policy, unemployment, abortion and healthcare are just a few of the many on the long list.
Some issues are more important to students than others, but each and everyone of us should be knowledgeable and ready to make an educated and informed decision on Election Day.
It will be a decision that will ultimately change the rest of our lives.
Florida has always been a toss-up state, but this time it’s different. With many college graduates unemployed, thousands of homes foreclosed and families torn apart because of the economic recession, many who were optimistic for change in 2008 are now desperate to find hope. And analysts who were once able to guess whether Florida would lean red or blue are left to wonder.
The youth seems discouraged this election year, according to a poll released by the Pew Research Center in late September. In 2008, young voter turnout for ages 18-29 was 35 percent, but it has now significantly dropped to 18 percent.
However, the spotlight is now on us. We can make a difference.
It is critical for college students to not only take a stand and make a decision, but cast a ballot on Tuesday.
As the saying goes, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Don’t let your voice go to waste.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.