As most of you know, Ohio is a swing state. Winning Ohio is considered one of the most important factors in presidential elections, due to the state’s history as a bellwether for the eventual winner of elections — our fair state hasn’t favored the losing side in a presidential election since 1960, during the race between Kennedy and Nixon.
Growing up in the Buckeye State, I always knew when it was an election year because of the barrage of television ads for candidates. Because primary voting this year occurs during Kenyon’s spring break, many part-time Ohioans will be going back to their home states, whose primaries or caucuses may have already taken place already. Regardless of your political affiliation, if you live in a state that leans red or blue, you should register as an absentee voter — that is, to cast a ballot in Ohio — due to the state’s importance during election years, as your vote may make more of an impact than it would in your home state due to the state’s “purple” status.
Here’s the great thing about voting: it’s a choice. During presidential election years, the percentage of voting persons rises significantly. While these numbers are important and impressive, it’s sad we put such a heavy emphasis on voting for our president but seem not to care when it comes to other important officials. While the president is obviously important, let us remember what has been drilled into our heads since government class: our country runs on a system of checks and balances. Even though Bernie, Hillary and the Donald fill up our newsfeeds, many offices at the local, state and national levels need competent elected officials. Because of this, I think it’s important not only exercise your right to vote, but to also to be informed in your political choices.
The great thing about being an Ohio voter is that you make a direct impact on the state where you live most of the time — at least for these four years. Voting may be a choice, but if you sit around and say your votes don’t matter — and later complain about the results — you’re part of the problem, not the solution. I know, you’ve heard this all before. An op-ed can’t change anyone’s minds politically, but during this voting season I urge you to be informed — whatever your chosen political party — and consider casting an Ohio ballot this March.
Reagan Neviska ’17 is an anthropology major from Fredericktown, Ohio. Contact her at email@example.com.