Editorial: Why you should vote

Candidate registration? Check. Manifesto release? Check. Candidates are ready. Now, it is your turn. It is your turn to think about who to vote for and get to the polling station.

Some students, however, may still be deciding whether to vote at all. Yes, Kent Union elections have suffered from low turnouts each year, and the popular indifference and apathy among the students is well known, but voting should not be something students should consider, it should be an imperative.

With most of the students at Kent being 18 or above, a majority of us will already have voting experience. Whether that is in a general election, European Parliament election, or most recently the Brexit referendum, elections have always been the time where people gather to voice their opinion on issues on the agenda, regardless of how distant they were from the political sphere of discussions in their everyday lives.

Elections in the past few years have become more consequently than ever before; we as students and UK citizens have witnessed how a single referendum potentially change our lives for better or worse.

The excuse that your vote doesn’t count is meaningless—single votes determine the fate of a community, society, and country.

The editorial team at InQuire strongly urges you to get involved in this year’s elections: it is your chance to become part of the decision-making process for some important, local issues.

Especially if you are to study at Kent for the next year or two, your vote can shape policies in the University that directly affect your life, ranging from free speech on campus to NUS affiliated activities, from postgraduate support to mental health assistance.

If you were not entirely satisfied about your student experience in Kent so far, or if you would like to address your concerns, this is your chance.

Voting in Kent Union elections is the most localised way of shaping your academic and social experience as a student in Kent, and it is the one most effective and strong way of holding your representatives to account—making sure they are capable of delivering necessary changes.

Candidates until the 3rd of March will be campaigning across the campus promoting their manifestos and listening to your opinions.

Take a good look at their campaigns, make the most of InQuire articles that feature manifesto analysis’s, and see which candidates can help us build a better university campus. Choose the change you want to see.

It does not matter if you choose to spoil your ballot, because that, too, is one way of expressing your opinion. Every view can matter in this election, all you have to do is utilise your right to matter.