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OPINION: Why Should You Vote?

Fourth Estate Editorial

In one week, Virginia will decide its new Governor. In the last ten years, Virginia has had three Governors from the Democrat party and one from the Republican party – recently, Bob McDonnell (R) holding the 2010-2014 term to our current Governor, Terry McAuliffe (D).

The Virginia Department of Elections reported a 41.6 percent voter turnout in the 2014 general elections, about 100,000 less voters than the 2010 general elections. Why is the voter turnout so low when Virginia is one of the more politically charged states due to its proximity to D.C.?

The Fourth Estate advocates for using your vote. We do not endorse any one candidate, but we endorse the importance of your input. Here’s why:

“If you’re a citizen and of age, I think it’s important to vote because it is your civic duty to contribute well to society. Voting is a time where citizens can express who they want to represent them, their city, their state, and/or this nation.” – Dinanda Pramesti, Lifestyle Editor.

“At the local community and state level, your vote really does hold weight because voter turnout isn’t as high and you’re voting for a candidate that is trying to find ways to improve your state and community- a place you directly reside in. Showing up to vote in person really doesn’t take me more than 5 minutes.” – Basma Humadi, Lifestyle Assistant Editor.

Your input doesn’t end on election day, elected officials will always consider your vote as they carry out their term.

“It is important to contact your elected officials when you feel strongly about an issue coming up for their vote – most of them will actually listen to their constituents! You can also attend local meetings, such as city council, and speak up when issues directly affect your life.” – Michael Eberhart, News Editor.

We’ve reprinted a voter guide for you to make an informed decision on your ballot. Whether you check off Ed Gillespie (R) or Ralph Northam (D), this guide will help you be confident in your vote. We hope to see you at the polls!