Alex Nathanson, Contributing Writer
In a country where decades of judicial precedent can be seemingly overruled in one night and a group of so-called “voting officials” can overrule the popular vote, it can be difficult to feel that our democratic system works at all. Considering this trepidation, why are the 2022 midterm elections projected to host a record-breaking number of voters – the third national election in a row to do so? On a frighteningly warm October day, the Voter Engagement Team here at the College of Wooster went on their walk to The Wayne County Board of Elections to vote. Leading the event were student interns Madison Mycoff ’24, Carrie Buckwalter ’24 and Cody Clark ’25, as well as Graham Letkeman ’23, who was unable to attend the event that day. The group gathered in the shade in front of Babcock Hall as other students joined them to prepare for the pilgrimage to historic downtown Wooster.
A common reason cited by many students about why voting in this election is important is the overturning of Roe v. Wade last June. The Supreme Court’s decision does not sit well with many students, as they recognize that the most effective way to make their voices heard is by voting for politicians whose platforms align with their own. Clark described voting as one of many tools in a “political toolbox,” so to speak, with a greater effectiveness in local elections. As organizers, the team spoke to the effectiveness of political activism as another means of representing one’s opinions and gathering support for social issues.
Students also questioned the effectiveness of voting in the primaries. The intervention of the electoral college in the primary process made it difficult for Mycoff to say that voting is functional in representing the needs of the constituents. Having another voting body that has more power over the national vote can have a serious impact on voter morale, as seen in the 2016 Presidential election. Students spoke about how minorities feel misrepresented by the voting process due to factors such as voter I.D. in certain states and a lack of equal access to voting booths. Threats of violence and insurgency around voting locations are another unfortunate deterrent to many would-be voters in the United States, particularly in the 2020 elections, where several individuals took it upon themselves to not-so-subtly “monitor” the voting process. All agreed that voting is an effective form of democracy, however, we have a long way to go until the egalitarian vision of our American ancestors is fully realized. As Buckwalter put it, “Voting is the best thing you can do to represent that you actually want change. And if you don’t want change, then also vote – People fought for this right!”
Another Walk-to-Early-Vote event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5 with the same goal of bringing as many Ohio-eligible voters down to The Wayne County Board of Elections to vote in the midterm elections. If you plan on voting in this upcoming election in Wayne County, the walk is a good opportunity to vote. Unlike voting on election day, early voting does not require a proof of residency. The only thing required is one form of Federal I.D., such as a driving license, Social Security card or passport. There is no stress about waiting in long lines, exposure to a large group of potential virus-carrying peoples or running low on energy (the team made sure everyone had access to snacks or water if we needed it). For those of you looking for a way to get your steps in, it’s a nice two-hour excursion with friendly faces and free food.