Midterm elections are just around the corner. It is important that young voters exercise their right to vote, Fresno State political science professor Dr. Jeffrey Cummins advised.
College students are largely underrepresented in all levels of elected government, even with the looming student worries of tuition rate and the cost of higher education, Cummins said.
“Our representatives are not going to respond unless they feel that college students or younger people are a powerful voting bloc,” Cummins said. “That’s just the incentives of our political system.”
Students are encouraged to do their research and vote accordingly. California’s proposition system allows voters the ability to pass legislation directly from the ballot box. Cummins suggested students consider these three propositions in particular:
Propositions 1 and 10 deal with affordable housing. California’s housing crisis affects students, Cummins said. Voting yes on Proposition 1 will authorize funds to housing assistance programs, according to the California voting guide.
Proposition 10 allows the government to enact rent control. However, Cummins cautioned that although Proposition 10 may lower rental costs, economists believe that rent control will reduce the number of housing options.
Proposition 6 would repeal the gas tax. The legislature passed last year. This proposition would affect commuter students by lowering the cost of fuel. Repealing this tax, according to Cummins, would eliminate certain funding toward repairing state and local roads. There are objective reports stating that California has poor road conditions.
Fresno State students weighed in on why voting is important to them. Matthew Jaime, studying dietetics, said he votes absentee, since he is from southern California.
“I definitely like to mail in my vote,” Jaime said. “I do think our generation is starting to realize the impact a vote can actually have. We complain about everything going on but if we don’t actually go out there and vote, then why are we complaining, if we’re not trying to make our actual voice heard. Really, one vote can make a difference.”
Local Fresno students will be voting in the midterm election as well.
“I am registered to vote,” said Adrian Cisneros, a senior public relations major. “It’s important to vote so you can actually have a say in what goes on in this country.”
The California general election is Nov. 6. The California quick guide to propositions is available here and the official California voter guide here.