Last Friday, absentee voting for the primary elections in Virginia officially opened, enabling anyone unable to visit local polling stations on June 13 to participate in the election. The primary elections are an opportunity for Virginia residents to nominate Democratic and Republican candidates for state and local races in November. As the academic year comes to an end, students should vote absentee in the primary election this June.
Many University students will be gone from Charlottesville and out of the state during summer break, but this does not mean they can't contribute to the community's political climate. Students at the University might be under the impression that state politics do not affect them, particularly, if they are out-of-state or international students. While spring courses come to an end, the rest of Charlottesville and Virginia will still be operating. Public officials are still governing, campaigns are underway and policies have the potential to be passed. Since policy decisions will be made over the summer, students should make sure that, as members of the community, their voices are heard.
The editorial board has previously emphasized the importance of student voice, a point which extends beyond the University community to the greater Charlottesville area and the rest of the Commonwealth. Grounds is deeply integrated within Charlottesville, so students should consider themselves members of the whole community. Moreover, students should be as invested in decisions made locally and at the state level as they are in decisions made by the University administration. As students conclude their academic year at the University, they should remain cognizant of and involved in the policies which could not only influence their education, but their livelihood.
Tuesday, June 6, at 5:00 p.m. is the deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail. Students can vote in-person absentee until Saturday, June 10.