Early this month I proudly traded in my swing state vote to support a future local mayor and two city council members in my first time participating in the American democratic process. I just turned 18, and this is my first semester at BYU. Why, having only clocked in two months living in Provo, did I use my first vote on this town’s municipal elections?
As residents of Provo, we are dependent on the resources available to us here. In those three local politicians’ hands lie my and the other 30,000-plus students’ lives and the issues important to us: where we will park, regulations on housing, the availability of employment and amenities downtown.
When I went to the BYU Conference Center to vote that Tuesday evening, the polls there had been open for almost 12 hours. Even after all that time, I was only the 50th person to vote at that location. Moreover, I was only one of 15 people to vote within Precinct 8. This gives disproportionately significant weight to my input. Because of low voter turnout, 15 people were allowed to make decisions for the masses.
The next time the chance arises, contribute your two cents on these matters. Use the Internet; it takes half an hour to become an informed citizen and voter. Your college town may not be your hometown, but it is your town too. So claim it and make it yours.