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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Irwin

Reasons why it’s important to vote in the 2018 midterm elections

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

10/24/18

The Daily Californian

It’s that time of year again: The leaves are changing colors, Berkeley’s weather seems to alternate between 80 and 60 degrees on the daily, and, oh yeah — it has now been two years since the presidential election, which means it’s time for midterm elections. You might have already been bugged to register by a CALPIRG representative in class, someone running for City Council on Sproul or a random classmate from high school sliding into your Facebook DMs. But all that registering doesn’t matter if you don’t show up at the polls. So if you need some extra encouragement to show up at the polls Nov. 6 (or tips to encourage your friends), we at the Clog have compiled a list of reasons you should vote in this year’s midterm elections.


It’s your civic duty


If you haven’t noticed, many people in the United States (no matter where they fall on the left-to-right spectrum) feel we’re experiencing some sort of political crisis right now, so we can pretty much guarantee that some issue or candidate you care about is going to be on the ballot this year. Democracy only works when we all participate, so just do it.


Because other folks can’t


Thousands of immigrants and people from historically marginalized groups can’t vote. Voting is a privilege, and if you have it, you should use it.


Multiple ballot initiatives directly affect the lives of students at UC Berkeley


California Propositions 1, 2 and 10 and Berkeley ballot Measures O and P address affordable housing, and since we live in the No. 1 most expensive college town in the country, these propositions and measures are especially important. On top of that, Measure Q is about rent control, and Alameda County Measures E and G affect community college funding, too. There’s a lot at stake, so study your voter guides!


Several initiatives affect the environment


Proposition 3 would authorize $8.778 billion in general obligation bonds for things such as water infrastructure, and Proposition 6 would repeal the California gas tax. We Californians live in such a beautiful state with many natural resources to protect, so everyone has a reason to care.


Berkeley has a rent board, and we pick who represents us on it


This is the group that determines rent regulations, manages the rights of tenants and landlords, decides rent ceilings and more. What it decides affects rents around campus, and thus, the rents of a large majority of Berkeley students. Pay attention!


We get to pick our City Council representatives, too


I’m here to tell you that we have City Council representatives, and they care a lot about what we think. They’re campaigning like crazy right now to get our attention, and there’s a reason we should play ball: City Council representatives look at the city’s major plans, such as infrastructure improvement, city-sponsored programming, and marketplaces and wages.


There’s a nationwide contest for congressional seats


Democrats are trying to instigate a “blue wave,” while Republicans are trying to maintain their majority. Just about every federal program is under critique right now, so pay attention to the news and get out to the polls.

Whatever you have to do, just get out there and make your voice heard Nov. 6. After reading this article, hopefully you’ll realize that everyone has a reason to vote!


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