Don’t vote on an empty brain


Michael Lynch

Assistant Opinions Editor

The 2018 midterm elections are one month away. We have a lot of important decisions to make before November 6th comes. Before casting your vote, it is vital to take the time to research all the candidates, policies and issues to become an informed voter.

Voters who are politically aware are equipped to choose the best and brightest candidates, in effect providing competent representation. The more politically informed we are, the more representative our public officials will be on every level of government.

Damian Henderson, a sophomore kinesiology major, said being politically informed to vote is critical.

“People are not currently politically informed,” said Henderson.

The fact is that the majority of people do not know the necessary facts needed to cast an informed vote. For instance, research by Haven Insights shows that only 37 percent of Americans can name their representative in congress. How can we make a difference in our congressional race if the majority of us do not know who our representative, Kevin McCarthy, is?

A C-SPAN poll conducted in August of this year asked “Can you name any cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court?” Only 47% of respondents were able to name a case (Think Brown v. Board of Education or Roe v. Wade).

Maria Montelongo, a senior child, adolescent, and family studies major, said “A lot more people our age need to be more aware and involved in politics.”

Before you fill out your ballot this November, it is necessary to know our senators are Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, our Chief Justice is John Roberts, and Mike Pence is the Vice President. Regardless if you agree or disagree with any of those officials, it is essential to know who they are.

Anthony Cortez, a junior kinesiology major, believes it is important to be politically informed.

“People should learn basic knowledge before they vote.”

Becoming a knowledgeable voter is not hard. It doesn’t require taking several political science courses or watching the news for hours each day. Start by subscribing to a few news outlets on social media. Having news updates in your social media feed provides regular information every day.

Another strategy is to download several news apps and turn on notifications for each. If you choose apps from different sides of the political spectrum, you can get real time updates from different perspectives.

This November, there is too much at stake to go into the voting booth unaware of what is going on in the United States. Learn what incumbent politicians have accomplished and what their challengers propose.

Mario De La Pena, the president of the political science club at CSUB, said “[People] should have a good understanding of the propositions, the measures and the candidates…on the ballot.”

“Everyone should get to know politics. It is not a partisan issue anymore. It is a people issue.”

CSU Bakersfield has a lot to offer for students looking to get involved. We have a multitude of clubs and organizations on campus, from both ends of the political spectrum, looking to make a difference. Hundreds of CSUB students have registered to vote this semester alone. Don’t let this energy go to waste.

With less than one month until the midterm elections, don’t vote for the sake of voting. Vote with every effort to make an informed vote.