Voter registration deadlines are imminent. It is absolutely crucial, particularly considering this election’s substantial effect on our generation, that UR students turn out to the polls in significant numbers. Furthermore, while the presidential campaign and other national issues have dominated political rhetoric across the board, local elections rarely receive any significant attention. UR student groups are addressing the need to register voters, but little is being done to raise awareness about local elections.

This fall, political clubs, including the Political Science Undergraduate Council and R World R Vote, are hosting three voter registration events, hoping to snag students who have neglected to participate thus far. Starting Friday, Sept. 26, there will be one event per week. In addition, there will be screenings of the presidential and vice presidential debates, complete with discussion of platforms by UR professors.

The same groups who are setting remarkable examples for student leadership during such a critical time should consider co-sponsoring an event to promote awareness of local elections. Booths at this event could provide information on the Rochester-area politicians and offer assistance to students who want to research their own local politicians. Although many students may not be able to vote on Rochester issues, it remains important to highlight concerns regarding the city of Rochester, for they are still affected by the decisions the community makes regarding its candidates. Underscoring this arena of politics may encourage students to investigate their own local political matters.

The 2008 presidential election has been noted for substantially engaging the youth. UR students have an unique opportunity to participate in elections that go beyond the realm of national politics and to decisions that directly affect their daily lives.

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