It is voting season in Southern Nevada, early voting for the midterm elections just closed and election day is Tuesday.
Historically, adults between the ages of 18 and 25 have had the least voter turnout.
With low voter turnout during midterms, how can UNLV students become more politically active during this time? How can students advocate for the policies they want to enact?
“There are two ways to be politically involved during an election season: getting those people elected and then once you get them elected, hold them accountable.” said Nour Benjelloun, a senior philosophy major and member of UNLV’s Young Democrats club.
Benjelloun said that UNLV has an array of different political clubs. However you align, there is a UNLV club on campus. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Socialist, UNLV welcomes all and has clubs to represent each ideology.
“In addition to voting, [students] can encourage their friends, family and neighbors to vote,” said UNLV professor and chair of the political science department, David Damore. “[Students] also can volunteer for candidates and the party organizations to do phone banking and canvassing.”
Part of being politically active is advocating for the policies one wants to enact. So how can UNLV students go about this?
Killian Gardos, a UNLV graduate, said, “If [students] really care about a certain policy, you would want to influence people in a way to get more people to vote on it.”
Regarding this matter, Damore said, “Showing up and engaging with elected officials or working through interest groups that are focused on issues that are important to students” who want to promote the policies one believes in.
According to lifestyle magazine Society 19, staying informed on current news and the political climate can help students be more informed and deter unreliable reports. Volunteering on campaigns or gaining an internship with an elected official can help gain experience and give first-hand experience with politics. Even a political science course can lead to a better understanding of how politics works in the modern world.
But the most essential step to being politically involved is voting.
It is crucial for UNLV students to vote on election day, encourage others to vote, and create positivity around voting and being an avid part of the community.
Joining a political organization may not be for every student, but taking to social media to spread the word is an accessible way to be politically engaged. Supporting or going against policies and elected officials on social media will also inform others and encourage them to vote.
After the election, lobbying and continuing to push for policies from elected officials will help the proposal of new legislation and make sure the policies voted for will be enacted.
Our responsibility is to elect the officials to represent our community and values. Especially when people 18 to 25 years old have the lowest voter turnout. UNLV students can help to change that, go and vote.