Our Word: Know the facts or know nothing

By Gus Bode

One person said he wouldn’t vote because he hasn’t paid attention. Another won’t vote because she hasn’t followed the race, and yet another because she’s “kind of jaded” and doesn’t feel “as if my vote really makes a difference.”

When the DAILY EGYPTIAN asked a handful of students a few weeks ago whether or not they would vote in the gubernatorial elections, which happen Tuesday, these were some of the answers we got.

Voter apathy is nothing to us at the DAILY EGYPTIAN; we’ve suffered from it ourselves. Forgetting about it doesn’t work either because every year we have to cover the election campaigns and the results.


Turnout numbers, especially for a midterm election, rarely look good (when was the last time more than half the voting population showed up to vote at any level?), but at the same time, all is never lost.

Among the indifference, we also got this answer about voting from Adam Collier: “It is important to vote, as long as you know the facts.” Collier, a senior studying cinema and photography, said back then that he would most likely vote. Hopefully he will because that is exactly the type of attitude one needs to take into this election.

You’d have to really be into the particular issues at stake to vote in the Blagojevich/Topinka race because neither candidate does much to spark the imaginations of the average Illinoisan. You’d have to really hinge your future onto the state of Illinois’ budget numbers or take utter offense against any type of cronyism in our state government, because in the end, our state’s politics is about minutiae – minor things the average citizen isn’t really interested in but are rooted deep in our political process.

It isn’t wrong to feel helpless or frustrated about what’s going on with our political leaders; despite the heavy issues that continue to hit this country, we still are overcome with foolishness from politicians as they continually dig for dirt on their opponents. In the end, all that we have as voters is our beliefs and our ideals.

Arm yourself with these things and as much information as you can in the next day. If that’s not enough, then maybe you should stay away and let the process go on its own – this time at least.