The importance of voting from UM students

A sign directing people where to vote. Photo credit: Mrs. Gemstone from USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Voting offers citizens of the United States 18 years or older the right to decide their next representatives and what direction their country is headed in. Yet, only 51.4% of people aged 18 to 24 casted a vote during the Presidential Election in 2022.

The midterm elections are an ongoing set of elections with the majority taking place Nov. 8th. Contestants are running for all seats in the House of Representative and for 35 out of a total of 100 seats in the Senate.

Those who are eligible to vote have to register before being able to cast a ballot. Regina Potenza, a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism, registered weeks ago.

“I registered to vote on-campus a few weeks ago and am very excited to vote for the first time. Growing up, my family has always emphasized the importance of voting in elections and I am a firm believer that every vote counts,” Potenza said.

In recent years, only about 40% of those eligible, voted in midterm elections.

Sara Holtam, sophomore in the Miami Herbert Business school majoring in organizational leadership, expressed her opinion on the importance of voting.

“Voting is very significant and important for everyone that is of age,” said Holtram. “I am registered and feel like everyone else should be too.”

Many people list some reasons for not voting like dissatisfaction regarding candidates or feeling that one’s vote is insignificant.

“Even if it does not seem like it, voting really does make a difference. The state of the government is controversial so voting is the best way to make your voice heard,” Holtam said.

For student voters at the University of Miami, they have the ability to register to vote in the state of Florida with their school address.

One of the main reasons why some decide to vote here rather than their state of residency is because it is a swing state. Swing states are states where either party, Democrats or Republicans, could reasonably win the election based on a history of a swing of votes.

“I am registered to vote in Florida because it is a swing state and I am looking forward to having an impact on who will be our government officials for the next few years”, Potenza said.