The political season is already among us, which means a whirlwind of information and civic duties are pressing into the minds of campus community members, especially as mail-in and absentee voting are increasingly prevalent.
That buzz will be reflected in the Lanthorn this issue and next, as we push to inspire community members to head to the polls and confidently cast their votes in local and national elections alike.
This time of year, local and student news publications can do what national publications can’t. While national outlets can focus on key races and the presidential pool, local journalists put state races into perspective among more focused audiences.
Especially at the university level, the vast majority of readers have a number of traits in common, including level of education, age and community investments.
Those perspectives mean a few things for how the Lanthorn will cover election season this year.
A million different races are vying for audience attention this season, so while there are a range of issues and platforms to consider for each race and candidate, the Lanthorn Editorial Board is using an approach driven by collegiate, age-driven polling data to determine what issues matter most to our college community.
Our coverage will focus on the environment, public health, education and the economy as key issues, but will not be limited to those topics. Using polls from sources like Harvard and College Source, we’ve determined that these issues are especially important to our audience. There are a plethora of other topics of importance, but to treat each race with consistency, those topics will be the standard, with expansion whenever possible.
With all races we feature, we’ll encourage our readers to explore more resources on each candidate. Links on our website will give readers the opportunity to learn more whenever possible.
We are providing these links because the Lanthorn strongly believes that voters, especially college students, should stay informed regarding the issues and candidates they are backing. Part of that is consuming news and part of that is seeking out more information if you don’t feel prepared.
As Winston Churchill famously said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” We are trying to give voters in our community the information they need for those difficult conversations before the polls.
Finally, as national outlets continue to endorse candidates around the country, we’ll say our part: we endorse an informed electorate, regardless of personal politics or beliefs. We support the voters that arm themselves with information as they fill out ballots at home or head to the polls on Election Day. It’s not our place to tell you who to vote for, but it is our place to get you ready for the election.
There are going to be a lot of conversations as Nov. 3 nears. We’re doing our part in equipping you with the tools to be informed as you wield your vote. Will you do yours?