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Reader submission: Make your mark … on a ballot

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I recently received my very first ballot in the mail after it traveled all the way from my permanent residence in Portland, Ore., here to Marquette. Luckily, all voting in Oregon is done via mail, so I didn’t miss out on voting at the polls like other students might.

Almost immediately I began filling in bubbles. I was so excited to make my voice matter this election.

While doing so, I thought about the past few months and how active President Barack Obama and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney were during their campaigns. They traveled around the country, shook thousands of hands and paid millions of dollars for advertisements for an entire year.

But during this reflection, I realized the advertising of this election was much more present on social media sites than ever before. I couldn’t believe how many advertisements I saw on my Twitter, Facebook and Pandora stations, but maybe that’s because this was the first election I actually paid attention to.

The advertising activity was borderline obnoxious, but it shows just how influential technology advancements in our contemporary lifestyle have become. In some cases, the nightly news is being replaced with Twitter feeds and Facebook updates, so candidates have changed their campaign tactics accordingly.

As I filled out my ballot, I also thought about how this election related to the politically diverse students of Marquette.

I live on a floor where many people tuned into the presidential and vice presidential debates, but to my surprise, these same people never discussed their own political positions during the viewing parties. It almost seemed taboo.

I was caught off guard that my neighbors resisted sharing their views to avoid tension and arguments with each other. Coming from a city known for being very liberal and Democratic, I didn’t really think about the pressure of political views growing up. But I wasn’t just surprised – I was upset. Shouldn’t the next leader of our country be something people can talk about?

I asked my floormates about their political party affiliations, not because I wanted to judge them, but because I was just curious. Politics is something I have always been interested in, and I enjoy hearing others’ opinions. Some of them respectfully chose not to answer.

What frustrates me more than obnoxious advertising and lack of discussion about political issues, though, is uneducated voting.

If you are going to vote today, all I ask is that you please make an educated decision. Your voice does matter and so does your opinion, so please vote for the candidate who best reflects your values.

Be the difference by making change for yourself, your classmates and fellow citizens of the United States. Be an active (and educated) member of your country.

Claire Delman, Freshman,
College of Communication
claire.delman@marquette.edu

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