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How Important is Your Vote?

As people fill the polls in Iowa today, we should fill out those voter registration forms before February 10th. If you haven’t noticed already, this presidential election is probably the most interesting, bazaar, and entertaining since Bush v Gore. Because this election is so different and it’s happening during one the most prime time of our lives, we MUST go out there and vote in the primary AND general election.

The primary election, which for us is March 1st, is our opportunity to choose which Democrat and which Republican will go head to head and race to the White House. The general election, which will be on November 1st, will determine who will be the next president of the United States.

Your voice matters. Voting is our constitutional right. And, for a majority of us, people protested, fought, and suffered beatings and ridicule for us to have a voice to make decisions. Why should we participate? To be quite frank, it would be disrespectful to history if we didn’t vote.

Let’s think back to when Bernie Sanders was just a name creeping behind Hilary Clinton’s. Now, because of voters – college students, like you – Bernie Sanders has become an idea, a ray of hope that there can be someone different. A good different. The polls are even showing that he might take Iowa from Clinton.

It is an even playing field for every single candidate when we have the power to choose who is the next leader of the free world. Your little pen on that ballot can change history.

You might be thinking, “Elainy, I don’t even know what party I belong to.” If that’s the case, has a quiz that you can determine where you side on electoral issues. But you might also ask, “Elainy, I don’t even know which candidate is best. I don’t exactly know who to vote for.” You’re in luck!

The polling club will be holding a mock election the week before the primary so you can practice voting and be able to look at packets that lay out each candidate’s platform. It’s an event so you can talk to your peers about who they are voting for, pose any concerns you have about the process of voting, and ask any other questions you have about the election and the candidates.

It is important for ALL of us to be involved in this election. I want us all to be involved so badly that I grabbed a bunch of voter registration forms just for you. I’ll even mail them for you. But remember, we only have until February 10th! If you want to register to vote, email me at

With everything that’s happening on campus, you guys see how much influence your voice can make. Imagine if all of us unite to create a movement for this election. We can change history and we will.

Elainy Mata is the founder and president of Suffolk University’s Polling Club.

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