The importance of educating yourself before voting

With the midterm elections passing by, the focus is now shifting to the 2024 election cycle, which centers around another presidential election. While it may seem far off, the process is already beginning today as prospective candidates announce their campaigns.

Obviously, voting is extremely important. It is the foundation of our democracy and gives the people a say in who is elected to represent us. However, there is more to it than just taking a trip to the ballot box or mailing in a vote.

In today’s digital age, people take information and disseminate it in a way that fits only their view. As such, it is necessary to be a well-read and informed voter when determining who you will support for an election. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or don’t identify with either party, knowing what you truly want from a candidate is more important than what any other person wants you to believe.

Read any and everything, but do so with a critical eye; understand what the information is and who is giving it to you. Do your best to not jump straight to conclusions; instead, be methodical and rational with how you view different stories or policy plans.

Both sides of the political aisle try to bombard voters with a number of messages, all in an attempt to sway them into voting a certain way. While this has always happened, it is so prevalent in the social media age. Unfortunately, many news and media organizations present stories as a “fact,” when it is really just opinion. That is why forming your own conclusions is so important.

College students make up the future of this country and much of that begins with who we elect into office. No matter who you are and how you vote, take the time and learn.