Why you should vote

Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison
Is something holding you back from voting? Did you know that voting can actually make you healthier? True story.
This post from University Health Services discusses the relationship between voting and personal wellbeing, including how community engagement can lead to a sense of belonging. The blog also draws on the importance of voting by covering the good ol’ nature versus nurture debate. UW School of Medicine and Public Health Professor Tom Oliver explains that while genetics may impact your health, your social environment is a key contender of shaping it.
That’s right. Your vote actually makes an impact. On you and your community.
The Best Colleges reported that Millennials account for half of the entire voting population, making us a big political player. “No one is going to vote in the interest of young people except young people.” Good point.

Political Science Professor and Director of UW-Madison’s Election Research Center Barry Burden shared that “the 2016 presidential election in Wisconsin was decided by less than 23,000 votes, or about half the size of the UW-Madison student body.” YAAAAS our votes really do matter!
We understand that college is hectic. Finding time to educate ourselves on policies may be tough, but luckily we have answers at the tips of our fingers (thanks, Google). To help you out: “The election in Wisconsin includes the governor’s race and most of the state legislature,” Burden shared. “The people in these offices affect everything from funding for the university to laws about health insurance, environmental regulation, and criminal justice policy.” Pretty cool, aye?
What’s even cooler is wisconsinvote.org, which has a full list of candidates and everything they stand for. Take a few minutes to read up on what’s important to them, so you know who you’ll support. And to take even more guesswork out of voting, you can visit My Vote to preview your ballot so you know what you’ll see in the polls. Seriously, you don’t have any excuses.
After 4+ years at this stellar university comes full-on adulting. Though you might feel like policies aren’t directly affecting you right now, they will eventually. Graduation will bring lots of life changes and responsibility. But with great responsibility, comes great reward.
So get out to the polls and exercise your right to vote!
Remember, you can vote early on campus at Memorial Union, Union South, and the SAC through tomorrow, Friday, November 2. Otherwise, polling places will be open on Election Day next Tuesday, November 6 from 7am – 8pm. Find your polling place here.