Editorial: Get Out and Vote, Delaware
The upcoming Delaware state primaries are a significant and consequential election. Delawareans will vote on which candidates who could end up serving as their U.S. senator, auditor and attorney general, among other positions. The outcomes of these primaries will be instrumental in dictating what the future identity of each party will look like and what shape the legislature will take over the next several years.
In order to encourage democratic engagement, a race has to seem attractive to voters. Often, however, local elections are not as appealing as those at the federal level. In wake of a recent emphasis on party loyalty, local politics is becoming increasingly important in ensuring that things actually get done. Which candidate a voter chooses to support in the upcoming primary, or a voter’s decision to abstain from voting altogether, will have repercussions that extend into their future and that of those around them. Healthcare and tax policy are two examples of political issues that will affect the lives of University of Delaware voters once they graduate and enter the real world, and are affecting many students today.
Local politics is the realm where the most tangible changes are being made, and that is why voting in primaries is so crucial. The attorney general represents Delaware in all legal matters. The State Auditor oversees local government spending and certifies that funds are used for the intended purposes. Those elected to these positions will have a substantial influence on the quality of Delaware residents’ everyday lives.
The race for the Delaware U.S. Senate seat is unsurprisingly receiving the most attention from voters and media outlets. Democratic incumbent Tom Carper is facing off against progressive political newcomer Kerri Evelyn Harris. Additionally, in the Republican race, Rob Arlett is running against Gene Truono.
It is critical that each individual voter chooses a preferred candidate based on their own vision for the future of Delaware, and not solely on party affiliation. Citizens should not be absorbed in the fiery rhetoric regarding party loyalty that has come to dominate most current political conversations. Feeding into the trend of increased polarization forces voters to abandon their own ideas for what defines a prosperous state and country.
Perspective should also be a touchstone of the individual voting process. The outcome of any given election has more palpable effects on the less fortunate, but wealthy students and citizens typically do not consider this when throwing their support to a candidate. It is easy for issues to be construed by a candidate’s emotional appeal, but voting is not a totally individual process. The winners of this election will represent and impact everyone in the state. Politics affects each person’s life on a daily basis and something as arbitrary as party affiliation or personal preference should not be the only thing inspiring one’s decisions.
If every Delaware resident currently attending the University of Delaware voted in the upcoming primary elections, the results could be swayed significantly. If this past election cycle has taught us anything, it is that polling and predictions only go so far. What impacts an election is who shows up at the polls and votes. This year, do not find an excuse not to vote — get to the polls to decide the fate of your state and country.
Editorials are developed by The Review’s editorial board, led this week by Editorial Editor Alex Eichenstein. She can be reached at email@example.com.