2020 has been a roller coaster of a year. With a global pandemic and social unrest, it is now more important than ever to vote. Missouri Western faculty and students groups stress the importance of voting for college students. 

Dr. Edwin Taylor is the chair and associate professor of political science. His job is to advise student groups and teach students the importance of voting.

“I serve as an advisor to competing groups that are part of this process,” Taylor said. “So I serve as an advisor to Pi Sigma Alpha, which is our political science national honor society, and for Sigma Alpha which is engaged in several different efforts to help increase voter turnout and engagement on campus.”

Missouri Western professors encourage students the importance of engaging in the democratic process in many different classes throughout the university. Faculty expressed that change is done by voting and is an essential part of a democratic society.

One of the most important topics for the 2020 election is COVID-19. Jessica Smith, a sophomore here at the university, has expressed worry over the pandemic and has kept up with recent updates here on campus. Smith feels it could keep people away from voting booths.

 “I mean I'm checking it personally,” Smith said. “There have been times where me and my roommate just stay in a room for like weeks at a time just because we're not necessarily comfortable going out. If like one time it was like 30 cases or something we were like, ah, I want to stay in a little bit.”

Students should be aware of upcoming presidential debates between, former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and current Republican President Donald Trump, as well the debate between Democratic Senator Kamala Harris and current sitting Vice President Republican Mike Pence. 

Students should also pay attention to state and local elections. Here in Missouri, the governor's race is underway between current Republican Missouri Governor Mike Parson and current Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway. The results of this race are going to have a lot of effect on funding for higher quality roads in Missouri.

Students can go to the Missouri Secretary of State's office to find out about their voter registration status. There they can tell you if you're registered to vote, where you're registered to vote, and the results. If you register to vote somewhere else but live here at Missouri Western you can request an absentee ballot, or you can change your registration to St.Joseph. 

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