Opinion

Letter to the editor: Your country needs your passion and your vote this November

With midterm elections right around the corner, students should register to vote soon. Voting registration is currently open in the Student Activity Center on East Campus Mall. 

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

Let’s just admit it. We’ve all done it.

Scrolling through Twitter, and there’s a new tweet from the president of the United States. We see red. Our thumb twitches over the phone. A response -- cutting and clever -- takes shape in our mind.

Retweet. Quote tweet. Repeat.

It’s cathartic, and comes with a positive feedback loop of RTs and likes.

But let me tell you -- as a guy who tweets a bit, but who’s spent the last year meeting voters face to face and helping candidates across the country -- rage tweeting only gets you so far.

If we want to win, if we want to make the change we need, we’ve got to get out and do something. I call it grabbing an oar, and now is the time to do it.

Fall is here. School is back in session. The election -- maybe your first, and maybe the most important of your life so far -- is just weeks away. If you care about where your hometown, your state and your country are headed, this is your moment.

Voters in Wisconsin and across the country will elect leaders to their state legislatures and governors’ offices and to Congress and the U.S. Senate. It’s important that these leaders reflect your interests and your values.

The president and his enablers want to take us backward. They fear the future you represent, and they’ve already shown they’ll do just about anything to diminish the voices of people who disagree with them -- including by putting up barriers to the ballot box and making it harder to vote.

Don’t let them.

The stakes are high this November, but the opportunity is real. From the marches and the walkouts to the special elections and the party primaries, we’ve seen an outpouring of activism and engagement over the last year -- and young people are leading the way.

There’s a rising generation in this country poised to influence elections and set our political course for years to come -- but only if y’all show up and make sure your friends and neighbors show up too.

You can get involved and help make that happen today. Now, in fact, is the best time to do it. It’s when your country needs you the most.

So, first and foremost: Make. Sure. You’re. Registered.

September is National Voter Registration Month, and it’s critical that you get on the voter rolls and get ready to cast your vote. If you don’t get registered and fail to vote, you’ve silenced yourself. You’ve taken yourself out of the conversation over our future. You’ve done the vote suppressors’ work for them. Don’t let that happen.

Next, take action. The voting-rights organization I founded, Let America Vote, is recruiting volunteers across the country, and we could use your help starting, like, yesterday.

Join our distributed organizing effort and we’ll plug you into key races where your efforts can make a real difference for pro-democracy candidates no matter where you are. I was first elected when I was 27 years old, and I was the first millennial in the country to win a statewide office. I learned early on that the smallest steps -- an afternoon of phonebanking, a weekend of knocking doors -- is what builds the biggest gains.

Go to letamericavote.org/volunteer or just text VOLUNTEER to 44939 and we’ll get you set up.

This election is too important to tweet in anger from the sidelines. Your future, your opportunities and your right to vote depend on victory in November. Grab an oar and let’s do this.

Jason Kander served as Missouri Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017. He’s now president of Let America Vote and host of Crooked Media’s “Majority 54” podcast.

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