Once again, it is that time of year. Today is Super Tuesday, and it is justifiably called so. On this day, residents of Massachusetts, 11 other states and one U.S. territory cast their votes in the Presidential Primary Elections. In total, over 40 percent of the Democratic Party’s delegates are up for grabs and 25 percent of the Republican Party’s delegates are as well. So what does all of this mean for the Tufts Community? A time for choosing is upon us.
As is the case in every election cycle, there will be those of us who cast a ballot and others who decide to stay home. To each category, the Daily has some suggestions. For those of you who plan to cast a vote today, we commend you. It is, however, important to keep in mind some voting strategies. By no means is there a right or wrong impetus for casting a ballot, yet there is a spectrum of efficiency when it comes to voters’ reasoning. A 2005 study, conducted by psychologist Alexander Todorov, Anesu N. Mandisodza, Amir Goren and Crystal C. Hall, found that a large amount of voters select their candidates primarily based on their looks. Another study revealed that a sizable amount of voters pick their candidate by voting for the first name listed on the ballot. While one has every right to vote in accordance with their own reasoning, it is important to remember that a vote is a reflection of your beliefs. To implement the changes you wish to see, it is not enough to merely project your views onto a candidate who may or may not hold them. Indeed, an efficient vote, one that is given to the candidate who best represents your beliefs, cannot be cast without deep reflections. Remember that every vote counts. By voting, you participate in steering the future of the country.
To those who do not plan to cast a vote, you are not alone; in fact, you are in the vast majority. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 statistics, roughly 77 percent of those aged 18-34 did not report themselves as voters during recent election cycles. For a nation that prides itself on being a participatory republic, that is a sad and startling statistic. To those of you who feel that your single vote does not count or that there are no candidates who properly represent your beliefs, here is a different perspective on the presidential election. It is easy to focus our attention on the political games of the candidates rather than their real qualities, on the criticisms surrounding the super-pacs’ commercials and the conga line of public endorsements, etc. All of these things completely swallow up who really matters in this political process: you.
It is vital to remember that campaigns clash over who can make a difference tomorrow, but we are the ones who can make a difference today. We are the engineers and pre-medical students whose work today will pioneer new innovations. We are the arts and humanities majors whose contemporary projects will be the face of American culture. We are the listeners whose voices seek to be heard. Therefore, please do not fall into the silent majority by staying home. Go out and exercise your right to vote today — vote for America.