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Voting participation on Miami campus is shockingly low; here’s how to fix it

<p>Mail delays are making students anxious as they prepare for to vote by mail the upcoming election cycle.</p>

Mail delays are making students anxious as they prepare for to vote by mail the upcoming election cycle.

“This is the most important election of our lifetime,” say many advertisements you see in contemporary politics. 

There is a reason this phrase is used extensively; it’s based heavily on truth. There are many important issues at stake this year, such as protecting women’s rights, inflation, high gas prices, the housing market bubble and many more. It is more vital than ever to make your voice heard in local, state and national policy.

In the 2020 election, on-campus voter turnout was the worst in the county, with an average voter turnout hardly over 20%. The worst precinct was Oxford 11 (Western campus), which had a voter turnout of less than 12%. 

During the last midterm election in the city of Oxford, which included most of Miami University’s campus, 13,000 people were registered, but fewer than 5,000 voted.

This means that over the last few years, the student body of Miami has had a diminished influence on city, state and national level policy decisions. Our elected officials don’t reflect their constituents because no one is voting.

In the U.S. Senate race in Ohio between Congressman Tim Ryan and businessman J.D. Vance, polling is close and a few hundred votes could decide the control of the Senate. It’s especially critical for state candidates like Sam Lawrence and Sara Carruthers, whose constituencies aren’t in the millions but in the hundreds, even in the thousands. Every student, every person and every vote matters during this, and every, election.

Students who live on or around campus can register to vote here in Oxford, using their residence hall, apartment or house address. There are many options for registering to vote on-campus. The Dean of Students has a page with information about when, where and how to register, as well as vote. At the front desk in Armstrong, there are voter registration forms that can be completed and turned in on the spot. Also, while walking around campus, several student organizations and The Wilks Institute for Leadership and Service will be staffing tables with information and registration forms.

The Ohio Secretary of State also has a page for registering to vote online. By visiting Vote.org, students can see where their voting location is. On the Butler County Board of Elections website, students can see a sample ballot so they can do research into each candidate and their platform. 

The voter registration deadline is Oct. 11 for the Nov. 8 election. 

Students should make their voices heard, protect their interests and register to vote this year because, after all, it may be the most important election of our lifetime.

houlihpf@miamioh.edu

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