If you have the privilege of being able to vote in an election in the United States — please vote — I don’t even care who you vote for. However, when you register to vote, I implore you to consider keeping your registration in your home district rather than switching your registration to Williamsburg.
Just to give you some relevant background on myself: I am a “classical liberal” or more specifically a libertarian — this is a very clear indicator of my upbringing in Nevada similar to the way full on communism may be stereotypical of someone from San Francisco or hawkish neoconservatism of someone from Lubbock, Texas.
In line with this, I believe in the power of the individual over the federal government. Two consenting adults of any gender should be able to marry. The free-market economy makes our nation one of the most prosperous countries on Earth. The immigration system needs to be reformed to become as fair and equitable as can be for people of all ethnicities — but it should still exist; which I sombrely say as the son and grandson of immigrants from Mexico. Over taxation is tantamount to theft at all socio-economic levels. We have to individually take actions to protect our environment. Religious liberty and freedom of speech are the cornerstones of our democracy. Equal opportunity does not mean equal outcomes.
Maybe for a bunch of “statists” from the East Coast — all affection implied — but this is the character that my state is proudly known for, and it is disappearing faster than an Elvis themed wedding ceremony in Downtown Las Vegas is finished.
As such, I will be a key voter in this next presidential election in Nevada’s third congressional district — one of the swingiest districts in one of the most purple states — because, well, I care much more about the political future of the Silver State than I do about the Old Dominion.
For example, in the 2016 election, my district voted for President Donald J. Trump by a 1 percent margin, while electing now Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Democrat, to be our new representative. Ultimately, I know my state’s local politics better than a new transplant who would just vote along party lines.
Now, back to why you should register to vote at home: my guess is that the vast majority of you don’t plan on staying in Hampton Roads for longer than the four years most of us will take to finish at the College of William and Mary. I’m sure Massachusetts, for example, has certain unique aspects worth preserving, while there are some things that should definitely change — the abolition of every single Boston sports team, anyone?
Why then focus your efforts on the location of your temporary residency? Should not your own congressional district be your priority?
Despite my pleas, however, you all will have the choice and free-will to be able to vote in whichever locality you are eligible for — for which we must thank the brave men and women who continually protect our freedom and democracy. If you choose to give into the will of the voter registration volunteers that crop up on campus, at least you are participating in the democratic process.
However, before you pick up your pen and give your social security number to a stranger, consider registering to vote in your locality of permanent residence. One thing the federal government has actually done correctly is setting up a portal with guides to registering to vote — humor them by using this rare useful resource: http://vote.gov.
Email Gavin Aquin at