Nov. 8 election pivotal in Missouri’s future


Alara Stewart, Editor

333.1 million people live in the United States according to the Census Bureau, but only 154.6 million people voted in the 2020 presidential election; just a little over half of the population. As the general election on Nov. 8 approaches, students emphasize the importance of voting not only on a national level but on a local level.

“Voting is often misunderstood and is very important, especially in these midterm and more local elections, because it is these elections that really help to enact the immediate change in your communities that you want to see,” Michael Simmons, senior, said.

In this year’s general election, every registered voter will have the opportunity to vote for the Missouri U.S. Senator, State Representative, Member of the Board of Education, Missouri Supreme Court Judges, etc. Several amendments on the ballot include voting to hold a convention to revise/amend the Constitution and voting to remove prohibitions from any marijuana related conduct for adults over the age of 21. With this amendment, they’re proposing to allow people incarcerated for marijuana related charges to petition for release and have their records expunged.

“Vote for State Representatives, Senators, etc, because voting is more important than people think,” Tori Wilson, junior, said. “It’s about who has power and control in the country. If we get power into the wrong hands then it can be misused.”

For some there is an even deeper significance and history to voting.

“I think as an African American I almost have a duty to vote in honor of all of the people, my family members, my ancestors, Simmons said. “As a community we did not have that right and we were barred from be- ing able to participate in the foundation of this country; democracy. So now that I feel that I do have that right it is important and I not only owe it to myself but to people before me, the people that bled, the people that died, literally for me to be able to have this right.”

To prevent the government from making decisions without input from citizens, Wilson and Simmons believe that voter turnout must increase. According to Global Citizen, U.S. citizens do not vote because they cannot. This derives from the lack of transportation, the limits of mobilization with age, financial reasons, prisoners not given the right to vote and that senators and representatives purposely restrict voting in some states.

U. City closes school on election day.

“Voting, if it’s not already, should be a national holiday,” Simmons said. “I think that a lot of the voter restriction laws, especially the ones happening in Georgia, need to be eliminated. More communities need access to resources to understand the importance and what’s on the ballot. And just those grassroot efforts such as, loading up vans and taking people to the polls, making sure that your communities are registered to vote, spreading information about what’s on the ballot.”

In addition around 15% of registered voters did not vote in the 2016 election because they believed that their vote did not matter in terms of making change.

“A lot of teenagers that I hang out with that are 18 are not registered to vote, and most of them think that their voice or vote doesn’t matter,” Wilson said. “To me every vote matters.”