Feeling low about the failure of Amendment 2? Think that $18 billion is way too much to spend on the environment? Upset that Rick Scott wasn’t wiped off the political map?
If you are, but didn’t vote, you don’t really have a right to complain. Higher turnout at the polls could have made just the difference you were hoping for.
According to The Miami Herald, only about 40.7 percent of Miami-Dade County’s registered voters showed up at the polls. Nationwide, only 12 percent of registered voters under 30 participated in the elections.
Considering that Amendment 2 fell just three percent short of the 60 percent approval rate it needed to pass, and that Rick Scott won by only 1.2 percent statewide, all those uncast youth votes might have changed the election’s tide.
Better preparation would have enabled more young people to make it to the polls. In the days leading up to the election, students are bombarded with flyers, stickers and enthusiastic shrieks intended to persuade them into the booths. But by then, it’s often too late.
Don’t think of elections as a day, but rather as a season. Every student at UM is technically a resident of Florida and can vote in the state elections, but only if they apply at least 29 days before Election Day. Important information about such deadlines should be circulated well in advance of the height of the election season itself.
Now that elections are over, it’s time to look toward the future.
The culmination of election season doesn’t mean that all of its outcomes are set in stone. Medical marijuana may not have passed with Amendment 2, but the Florida legislature can still write it into law. You can show your support for such measures by writing to your state representative or by participating in organizations such as Students for Sensible Drug Policy or the Florida Cannabis Coalition.
To some extent, we are all guilty of voter apathy. Even those who went out to vote probably didn’t do everything to advocate their beliefs.
Whether you showed up at the polls or not, pay attention to the way the results affect you.
If Rick Scott ends up not making good on his promise to restore the funds he once cut from education, at least it’ll be an encouragement when the next election season rolls around to set that voter-turnout line graph on an upward trend.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.