This is a guest post by Michael Holohan, who is joining our team for the 2016-2017 Academic Year through the Cooper Center's University Internship Program (UIP).
With election season upon us, time is running out for people to register to vote. The voter registration deadline for the presidential election in Virginia is October 17. Regardless of who you are voting for, take the time to register and visit the polls. You can register to vote, or update your voter registration, today at the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Some people insist that one vote does not really matter, but plenty of elections throughout history have been extremely close. In the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush, Florida was the deciding factor. Bush won Floriday by 537 votes, just .009% of the state's population.
Our democratic form of governance relies on active participation from our citizens, and absent this form of participation the system begins to lose its legitimacy. If people do not go out to vote, then policymakers will not be held responsible for what they say or do while in office. All of us have a stake in national politics—many federal policies directly impact the lives of ordinary Virginians.
If our government is truly established by the people and for the people, then it really is up to all of us. So, would you rather leave it all up to chance, or do you want to make a lasting impact on our country?
Michael Holohan is a third year student at the University of Virginia, pursing a double major in Politics and Media Studies. He works with the Charlottesville Debate League helping kick-start debate programs at middle and high schools in the Charlottesville area.