Young people must get involved in midterm elections


Photo by Alexa Weisbond

Packets containing pros and cons of different propositions on the ballot were handed out by the Pre-Law Society.

Alexa Weisbond, Reporter

With important issues on the ballot for the midterm election, it is a critical time for young people to get involved. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 seats in the Senate will be part of the upcoming midterm election. 

“I think it’s important for them to get involved because, especially since they’re young, this is their future and they want to sort of have a good political future, good economic future and a good educational future,” Gregory Freeland, professor of political science and director of the global studies program, said. 

Around campus, I have heard peers and professors discussing the upcoming election, yet it still feels like there are not many people who are actually trying to get more involved or who are aware that there is an upcoming election. 

Department Chair and professor of political science Haco Hoang said that even though California Lutheran University did put on voter and voter registration drives in the past, it has been difficult to start up again following the pandemic.

“We’re still in the process of returning to in-person stuff, so I think the last two years it’s been challenging just for that. But prior to that, I would say that there was more activity and activism around voting on campus…it’s just, it’s still a product of the pandemic,” Hoang said.

It seems almost as if people are tired of politics and are sick of how divisive it has become, especially over the past few years, with some even trying to avoid the topic at all costs due to the fear of losing friends, family and business associates.

When young people get educated and involved with politics and participate in the electoral process, they gain a better understanding of how these issues impact their everyday lives. They will be able to express their own opinions and ideas through key decision-making to foster true change and development in their own communities.

Professor of political science Jose Marichal said that being truly educated about what you are voting on is vital when it comes to elections.  

“The things that we, as political scientists, know are tried and true…knocking on doors, individual contacts, having conversations…it takes building relationships. Both parties have to build relationships, activist organizations have to be there, not just when it’s election time, but you have to create a culture where people see it as part of their obligation to care about their fellow citizens enough to get educated on what’s going on. It’s one thing to vote, it’s another thing to be educated about what you’re voting on,” Marichal said.

Marichal also said that it can be complicated for students to get involved when they don’t know where they can vote, especially if they are not from the area.

“It is a little complicated to sometimes figure out ‘do I vote in my home county, do I vote in my county,’ but it is worth going if you go to the secretary of state’s website for the state of California… that’ll take you to your county’s division of elections and they should do a pretty good job of filling you in on what you need to do to vote,” Marichal said.

While there is some helpful information about how to register to vote under the “Voter Registration” page on the Cal Lutheran website, there is still no mention of the upcoming midterm election and how students can get involved or where they can vote, which can make it more difficult for students to find out how they can participate.

Marichal explained that you can also use shortcuts like voter guides and one-minute explainers about the candidates. He also said going to your division of elections can help you make sure where to vote and how you can vote as well.

 “For each individual student, it’s gonna depend on what county they live in, so they should probably check with their county division of elections to find out for sure where their locations are. California makes it pretty easy…if you got a ballot mailed to your home you can have that sent to you or you pick it up from wherever you are. You can typically drop that off at drop boxes around the county,” Marichal said. 

While all of these resources are helpful for students to get more involved, it still feels very quiet on campus. It would be beneficial for more student groups on campus to come together and try to open up more conversations about the upcoming election, while also encouraging their peers to get out there and vote. These issues will impact their lives and affect future generations to come, and if people show up and make their voices heard, then real change can happen.