Every student should register to vote


Samuel G. Reece | @_samreece, Contributing Writer

Politics can be exhausting. From sniping back and forth across party lines to a stream of endless ads on YouTube, we are inundated by political messaging and news via sound bites and practiced debate one-liners. Our nation struggles now with fundamental questions of democratic and constitutional legitimacy, weighing the balance of the few and the many. 

If you are tired of the endless debates, the fighting, the breaking news updates and tweets that always seem to report that things have only gotten worse, there is good news. There is a fix, an easy fix – the kind of thing that takes less than an hour. 


If you worry that everyone in Washington or Montgomery is the same, that nothing you can do will really change how things work, vote. If you don’t see yourself reflected in the faces or values of the people in power, vote. If you feel pride, a patriotic twinge when you imagine what America, Alabama, Tuscaloosa or the University really is, what we really stand for, vote. If you are not from Tuscaloosa, or from Alabama, if you feel connected to the fabric of any place in the country, request an absentee ballot and vote. 

Politicians answer to voters. Representatives can come from all walks of life. Place and space are defined by the people who call them home. Voting is more than casting a ballot into the void of election night. It is a way of claiming power and agency, of asserting yourself into the fabric of this nation and this world. It is a way of honoring sacrifice, of celebrating diversity and multitude, of remembering values both personal and shared. If you believe in what America is, in what America was, in what America could be, vote. If you believe in anything, let that belief be heard. 

If politics make you feel exhausted, powerless and insignificant, take that power and make it yours. Vote. 

As students at The University of Alabama, there are a plethora of resources provided to us to help us make sure our voices are heard. Visit ua.turbovote.org to register to vote now, here in Tuscaloosa or anywhere else in the country. Put election day – March 3 in Alabama – on your calendar. Visit my.voteeverywhere.org to find more information about where and how to vote and for whom you’ll be voting. Use the University’s Student Absentee Ballot Guide to receive your absentee ballot for free if you live on campus. If your polling location is the Old Rec, use the Silver and Bronze bus routes provided by the University. Text “UAVotes” to 555-888 to get answers to questions or just to request a ride to your polling location. 

There’s a simple, easy way to make an impact on your community, your state and your country. There’s a free and quick way to take a stand, to use your voice for good, to make your values and beliefs felt across the country and the world and to make sure that you are counted and understood as important and powerful.