10.16.20 | Dear students: “Every election is determined by the people who show up.” (L. Sabato)
I was a rule-follower back in the day. A good kid who liked school. Some might have even said I was a bit of a square (that’s old-timey speak for all of the above)! So now, with a healthy amount of social activism, rebellion, and general rabble-rousing under my belt from the intervening years between youth and middle-aged, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that the only time I “skipped” school was to take the train to downtown Chicago to attend a political rally for a presidential candidate.
Feel free to groan or roll your eyes, but I’m telling you this because I still remember the energy and excitement of that day. It felt important. Momentous. Almost 18, I couldn’t wait to cast my first vote, and being at that rally inspired me to believe that elections matter. Voting matters.
So, today, I felt a little bit of that same excitement when I skipped work for the morning and went down to the Franklin County Board of Elections to cast my ballot. The line wound its way around the entire strip mall, and the signs declaring how long the wait would be made it feel a bit like Disney World. But, the end result was far more meaningful than even that longed-for trip to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!
I get cynicism. As a Gen-Xer, I kinda feel like we invented it. And, when a fly can steal the headlines from the candidates and issues, I know cynicism can feel like an all too appropriate response. When voting conversations focus on arguments over fraud and disenfranchisement instead of access, it’s easy to throw up your hands and check out.
But don’t surrender to that impulse. Your vote matters. It is an act of defiance against those who are hoping you’ll stay distracted, disinterested, disengaged.
Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy.
The act of voting is not a partisan act.
It is not just your right.
Not just your responsibility.
It is your power.
Our job at CCAD is not simply to foster your growth as an artist or designer but also as a creative thinker and informed citizen of the world. And so I’m asking you to demonstrate what you’ve learned here and exercise your power by voting in this fall’s election. Who and what you vote for is your decision to make. I’m not asking you to vote for or against any specific candidate or cause. Just vote.
Find out more about the voting process in Ohio by clicking the link here, by contacting your local election office, or by visiting TurboVote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization providing voting information.
P.S. If you're curious about that quote in this email's subject line, check out writing by political scientist and writer Larry Sabato, head of the University of Virginia's nonpartisan Center for Politics, which promotes civic education and engagement.