Unsurprisingly enough, we love election season here at The Carletonian. It provides us with a lot of material to cover, and more importantly, it’s exciting. An electric undercurrent runs through the campus, and activism is not only noticeable, but prominent in many places.
With the two proposed Minnesota amendments, local candidates on campus, and general political activity on campus, we’ve had at least one election-related article or opinion piece each week. The thought that the election is ending is, needless to say, slightly saddening. As first-term editors-in-chiefs, we’re curious, if slightly apprehensive, to see what next term’s election-less months will hold for us. But for now, we’ll add in some last-minute political thoughts.
One thing was extremely obvious on election day: political fervor on campus. With brigades of students knocking on doors, parading around campus, and using a bullhorn at meals, Carleton students made a clear effort to get out the vote. More notably, a lot of students voted absentee in their home states, despite the additional effort required. I was pleasantly surprised to realize just how many Carleton students actually cared about this election. In the past, I’ve expressed frustration over the lack of political activism on Carleton’s campus, but last Tuesday, I felt genuinely proud when it became apparent just how many of my classmates were voting in the election.
According to national news, we weren’t alone. For all the hype that the youth vote received in the 2008 election, the youth voter turnout actually increased between 2008 and 2012. Young people who are elligable to vote make up approximately 21 percent of the U.S. population, and according to exit polls, 19 of those 21 percent voted this year. Since most major media outlets predicted a decrease in youth voter turnout, this result was surprising, to say the least.
The election’s end means no more political rallies, fewer political debate, and generally less political buzz on campus. At The Carletonian, we’re sad to see it end (although we’re happy to finally have a result--the anticipation wasn’t thrilling). Ultimately, the election has provided us with a lot of additional and thought-provoking material, and as editors, we consider ourselves lucky to have had the opportunity to cover it.