By: Laura James
It is that time of year again… summer is winding down, students are loaded with school assignments and extracurricular activities, and then someone talks about voting. It becomes another task on the to-do list. And if a student hasn’t registered to vote, they’re burdened by that added responsibility. Why should they bother? Their time is precious and it is not like their vote will matter anyway. Right?
Wrong. Voting is quick and easy! It will take around thirty minutes of the day on Tuesday, November 7 and voters get a sticker. Registering to vote is also straightforward. There are several options including registering by mail, registering in person at one of five Board of Elections borough offices or registering online. Students can even register with NYPIRG during club hours on Thursdays or at their office in NAC 1/120. As long as it is done 25 days before the election, students are all set. Every vote counts as much as any other, and they are all needed to bring an election result that accurately reflects the wants and needs of the people.
In New York City, the 2017 off-year election is our mayoral election – an important event for CUNY students. The city’s mayor, along with the city council, is directly responsible for setting more than a third of CUNY’s budget (the governor and state assembly decide the other two-thirds of CUNY’s funding). Issues like tuition hikes, class cancellations, or broken escalators all become affected by the next mayor as a result of this election.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio is running for re-election to a second term in office and has already put out a 2018 Executive Budget. By reviewing his plan, you can evaluate his stance on education reform. And while you’re at it, look at his opponents in the primaries and their stances.
Up for the Democratic nomination is former City Councilman Sal Albanese, Richard Bashner, activist Robert Gangi, and Mike Tolkin. State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis secured the Republican running position – it will be especially important to read up on her.
Moreover – this year, gubernatorial as well as house elections will take place in Virginia and New Jersey. If you have any family and friends in those states, take a minute and make sure they’re ready for Election Day too.